The Essential Derk Wynand

By (author): Derk Wynand

Volume editor: John Barton

Thematic consistency and technical inventiveness shine in this selection of Derk Wynand’s emotionally intelligent poetry.

AUTHOR

John Barton

John Barton is a poet, essayist, editor and writing mentor. His books include Polari, For the Boy with the Eyes of the Virgin: Selected Poems; Seminal: The Anthology of Canada’s Gay-Male Poets; We Are Not Avatars: Essays, Memoirs, Manifestos; and The Essential Douglas LePan, which won a 2020 eLit Award. Formerly the co-editor of Arc Poetry Magazine and editor of The Malahat Review, he now lives in Victoria, where he is the fifth poet laureate.

AUTHOR

Derk Wynand

Derk Wynand was born in Bad Suderode, Germany in 1944 and has lived in Canada since 1952. The author of several works of poetry, fiction and translation, and a former editor of The Malahat Review, he teaches in the Department of Writing at the University of Victoria. Brick Books published Wynand’s Closer to Home in 1997. Derk Wynand teaches in the Department of Creative Writing at the University of Victoria. Closer to Home is his ninth volume of poetry.


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Excerpts & Samples ×

Queluz Palace

In the great hall of mirrors,
among the cut crystal and the gold
and the angels painted on the ceiling,
you flung out your arms all at once
and began to spin in circles,
in wider and wider circles
across a marble floor where Dom Pedro
had danced with Dona Maria, his future queen,
and I could hardly believe my eyes,
though you danced in every mirror
and on every facet of glass and on each
of the marble tiles on the floor
and in the gold, and the best angel
slowly peeled away from the ceiling
to fly, after long years of waiting
just for that moment (it was before noon
on August 3, 1986) and no matter
how I pinched myself or rubbed my eye,
he did not stop swinging you round
in wider and wider circles,
as I stood by, stupefied, stupid,
only watching helpless, and your feet
slowly rose from the polished marble
and you floated, in a straight line now,
out of the hall with the angel,
toward one of the smaller chambers,
which not even the king’s own servants
had ever been allowed to enter,
toward a room without glass or gold
where, mercifully, I could not watch you.

from One Cook, Once Dreaming

`The visiting poet’s just kissed me on the ear,’ the cook’s wife tells her husband.

`Don’t let it go to your head,’ he tells her, aware of the dangerous thoughts to which a barbed poet’s actions can give rise, thoughts she would do better to reserve for her most intimate journal. But then he considers that little harm can be done by a whiskered kiss on the ear, more elusive than a clandestine word uprooted from a poet’s world, a trope high on the pyramid of language, in such a rarefied air that not even a worm could survive there, not even the millipede his wife shuns because it rolls itself into a noxious ball when threatened, because its reproductive organs are located in front. Yes, he understands well these fears of his wife’s, for she has no lock to protect the intimacy of her journal. Not everything makes him jealous.

`He wants me to sit still for him,’ she says, not thinking about pyramids or millipedes. `He wants to capture my essence in approximate dactyls.’

`Poets have always had ideas,’ the cook tells her, remembering his own adolescence. He balls his hand into a fist to remain in control, nibbles on the nape of her neck in such an artful way that she whispers, for his ears alone: `Let’s go home just as quickly as our four legs can take us.’

Reader Reviews

Details

Dimensions:

64 Pages
8.75in * 5.50in * .25in
130.00gr
4.31oz

Published:

October 28, 2020

Publisher:

Porcupine’s Quill

ISBN:

9780889844407

Book Subjects:

POETRY / Canadian

Featured In:

All Books

Language:

eng

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