The Order in Which We Do Things
The Poetry of Tom Wayman
Publication Year: 2014
Tom Wayman’s poetry has been published around the world to great acclaim. Wayman is one of Canada’s most prolific and public poets, and his writing since the 1960s has been by turns angry, engaged, hopeful, tender, and hilarious. His voice and persona are his alone but simultaneously ours too. His recurring themes—work, mortality, love, lust, friendship, the natural world—make his work a poetry of human inevitabilities, a poetry that exults in the inevitability of seeing poetry in the everyday.
Wayman’s craft is poïesis (from the Ancient Greek “to make”)—making a change, making a difference, making a ruckus, making the most of our time. His working life has always been inextricable from his writing one; his poems offer an honest and candid consideration of the ideological underpinnings, practical realities, and subtle beauties of a life lived on job sites and picket lines, in union halls, classrooms, and book-stuffed offices, and on the page itself.
The Order in Which We Do Things is a collection of more than thirty of Wayman’s best poems, selected and introduced by Owen Percy. Percy’s introduction explores the genesis of Wayman’s print persona and contextualizes his politically engaged, conversational voice within the pantheon of its various publics. In his afterword, “Work and Silence,” Wayman reflects on his more than forty years in print as a work poet, and underlines poetry’s sustained power to engage readers, invite solidarity, and stoke the fires of critical resistance to the order in which we do things.
Published by: Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Series: Laurier Poetry
Title Page, Copyright Page
Table of Contents
Early in the twenty-first century, poetry in Canada—writing and publishing it, reading and thinking about it—finds itself in a strangely conflicted place. We have many strong poets continuing to produce exciting new work, and there is still a small audience for poetry; but increasingly, poetry is becoming a...
Thomas Ethan Wayman was born in Hawkesbury, Ontario, in 1945. His father, a chemist in the pulp industry, moved the family to Prince Rupert on the coast of northern British Columbia when Wayman was seven. In 1959 the family relocated to Vancouver—the city that would help to shape Wayman’s...
Introduction: Wayman in Print: “He Do the Polis in Different Voices,”
The Order in Which We Do Things marks more than forty years in print for Tom Wayman. To say that he has been prolific in those years would be an understatement; in his nineteen books of poetry since 1973—nearly 800 poems on more than 2000 pages—Wayman has developed one of the most...
Wayman in Love
The Country of Everyday: Literary Criticism
The Factory Hour
The Old Power
Friday Night in Early September at Morris and Sara Wayman’s Farm, Roseneath, Ontario
Paper, Scissors, Stone
The Face of Jack Munro
A Cursing Poem: This Poem Wants Gordon Shrum to Die
Defective Parts of Speech: Official Errata
Did I Miss Anything?
The Man Who Logged the West Ridge
For William Stafford (1914–1993)
War on a Round Planet
Epithalamium for a Former Lover
Mt. Gimli Pashtun
The White Dogs
Afterword:Work and Silence, Tom Wayman
What is poetry for? Should reading or listening to poetry serve the same function as hearing music does: to provide a mood-creating, -enhancing or -altering experience? Should poetry be an intellectual exercise, an opportunity for readers to sharpen or flaunt their wits by deciphering or guessing at obscurities...