Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-iv

Table of Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Foreword

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pp. vii-viii

The Laurier Poetry Series began in 2004 with the appearance of Before the First Word, a volume of Lorna Crozier’s poetry most ably edited by Winnipeg poet Catherine Hunter. Our hope was to bring contemporary Canadian poetry to its readers in a different way — by selecting thirty-five poems from across a poet’s career, and by asking the editor and the poet to write an engaging and accessible introduction and afterword, respectively. Crozier and Hunter set the bar very high....

Biographical Note

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pp. ix-x

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Introduction

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pp. xi-xx

In the first lines of “Cashion Bridge,” Jan Zwicky writes, “It would be as well at the outset to admit / how even to have said this much / is to have failed.” Ineffability has always been at the centre of Zwicky’s work. Lyric poetry’s relationship to the ineffable is especially paradoxical: using words, such poetry attempts to point at what is wordless. Zwicky writes, “Good poems — including poems like [Sue] Sinclair’s ‘Red Pepper,’ which elaborates a single metaphorical insight — are notoriously difficult to teach: ask any poet or sensitive English professor.... One often has the sense with a good poem that...

Practising Bach

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pp. 1-2

Language Is Hands

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pp. 3-4

from Leaving Home

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pp. 5-8

from Seven Elegies: Robert William Zwicky (1927–1987)

The Horse Pull

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p. 9

Your Body

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p. 10

K. 219, Adagio

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p. 11

The Geology of Norway

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pp. 12-15

Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet in B Minor, Op. 115

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p. 16

Cashion Bridge

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pp. 17-23

Bill Evans: “Here’s That Rainy Day”

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p. 24

Beethoven: Op. 95

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pp. 25-29

Driving Northwest

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p. 30

Prairie

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p. 31

Epistemology

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p. 32

One Version

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p. 33

Robinson’s Crossing

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pp. 34-38

History

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p. 39

Another Version

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p. 40

Glenn Gould: Bach’s “Italian” Concerto, BWV 971

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p. 41

Small song in praise of ears

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p. 42

Small song for the voice of the nuthatch

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p. 43

Small song: Prairie

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p. 44

Small song to oneself

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p. 45

Small song: Mozart

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p. 46

Small song: Laundry

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p. 47

from Music and Silence: Seven Variations

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pp. 48-49

Late Schubert

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p. 50

Practising Bach

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pp. 51-54

Gemini

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p. 55

If There Were Two Rivers

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pp. 56-57

From Distant Lands

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p. 58

The Art of Fugue

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pp. 59-63

Schumann: Fantasie, Op. 17

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pp. 64-65

Autobiography

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p. 66

Autumn Again

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pp. 67-68

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An Abridgement of a Conversation with Jan Zwicky

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pp. 69-78

Warren Heiti: You have written that “it’s a matter of justice and respect to let poems speak for themselves.” One reason — which you provide via Northrop Frye — is that poems are not made but midwifed. Another reason (which I lift from elsewhere in your work) is that form is internally related to content: “how you say is what you mean.” My worry is that the very gesture of agreeing to talk about the poems, in a discourse that is formally different from them, already constitutes some kind of betrayal. Wouldn’t it be much better for us to attend a concert of Bach’s music, or to go for a hike and look for nuthatches?...

Acknowledgements

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pp. 79-82