My Darling Nellie Grey

By (author): George Bowering

In December 2005, stalled on a novel he was writing, George Bowering thought he needed a challenge. By the end of the year he had made a New Year’s resolution: write a poem a day for the 365 days of 2006. While working on Crows in the Wind, in January, he decided each monthly sequence should have a rule: something for the writing to attend to. So for February, each day’s piece had to have one sentence and two stanzas, then off he went; inventing ten further formal monthly compositional frames. As it happened, 2006 became fraught with personal challenges for Bowering—including a second marriage and a death in his new family—but he kept going, never cheating. The result of this uncompromising personal and formal discipline is one of the most fascinating books of poetry ever written.

Initially lacking a “subject,” the book’s metanarrative almost inevitably took the shape of an exquisite poetic autobiography that is at once both intensely personal and profoundly public. In it, among many other astonishments, we discover the deeply ambiguous roots of his father’s favourite folksong; we catch a ?eeting childhood glimpse of Bowering’s young mother, graceful as a gazelle, frozen in mid-stride like a Keatsian art-deco statue by the poet’s innocently Oedipal gaze; a complete history of Cuba in the context of US foreign policy in Latin America that gives an entirely new, but older, meaning to the date September 11; and the roots of tragedy that led to the “Balkanization” of Yugoslavia.

Throughout, the poet’s narrative personae assume the guises of a lifetime, reeling in and out of an ever-shifting “present”: a ?uid “here and now” that swirls over the gravel of a stream alive with recognitions, as all of the events of that imagined life become simultaneously present in their voices.

AUTHOR

George Bowering

George Bowering was born and brought up in the Okanagan Valley of Pinboy. He published his first book of poems when he was 28. Since then, he has published 100 or so books and chapbooks, won Governor General’s Awards for his poetry and fiction, was the first Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada, and has received both the Order of British Columbia and the Order of Canada. He now lives a few steps from where he lived as an undergraduate in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Reviews

“Ironically, Bowering’s acumen for reading underlies the wide spectrum of his writing. His acute sense of language style and possibility, his ear for words and rhythms, shows a process for literary imagination that is open and generative, and so frequently provocative. I’ve always trusted how he reads writing and counted on his skills in both as evidence of a real poetics of attention.”
Fred Wah


“[Bowering’s] acute sense of language style and possibility, his ear for words and rhythms, shows a process for literary imagination that is open and generative, and so frequently provocative.”
Fred Wah


Awards

There are no awards found for this book.
Excerpts & Samples ×

In December 2005, stalled on a novel he was writing, George Bowering thought he needed a challenge. By the end of the year he had made a New Year’s resolution: write a poem a day for the 365 days of 2006. While working on Crows in the Wind, in January, he decided each monthly sequence should have a rule: something for the writing to attend to. So for February, each day’s piece had to have one sentence and two stanzas, then off he went; inventing ten further formal monthly compositional frames. As it happened, 2006 became fraught with personal challenges for Bowering—including a second marriage and a death in his new family—but he kept going, never cheating. The result of this uncompromising personal and formal discipline is one of the most fascinating books of poetry ever written.

Initially lacking a “subject,” the book’s metanarrative almost inevitably took the shape of an exquisite poetic autobiography that is at once both intensely personal and profoundly public. In it, among many other astonishments, we discover the deeply ambiguous roots of his father’s favourite folksong; we catch a ?eeting childhood glimpse of Bowering’s young mother, graceful as a gazelle, frozen in mid-stride like a Keatsian art-deco statue by the poet’s innocently Oedipal gaze; a complete history of Cuba in the context of US foreign policy in Latin America that gives an entirely new, but older, meaning to the date September 11; and the roots of tragedy that led to the “Balkanization” of Yugoslavia.

Throughout, the poet’s narrative personae assume the guises of a lifetime, reeling in and out of an ever-shifting “present”: a ?uid “here and now” that swirls over the gravel of a stream alive with recognitions, as all of the events of that imagined life become simultaneously present in their voices.

Reader Reviews

Details

Dimensions:

416 Pages
9in * 229mm * 6in * 152mm * 1in25mm
652gr
23oz

Published:

April 15, 2010

City of Publication:

Vancouver

Country of Publication:

CA

Publisher:

Talonbooks

ISBN:

9780889226340

9780889229990 – EPUB

9780889227989 – EPUB

9781772014785 – EPUB

Book Subjects:

POETRY / Canadian

Featured In:

All Books

Language:

eng

No author posts found.

Related Blog Posts

There are no posts with this book.

Other books by George Bowering