May 22 , 2011

But for Now


From "Anna's Lovers" Our houses glow both from within and on the outside: their night lights and an almost perfect and wintry moon. The phrase "but for now" means among other things "making do," as if we had to settle for the bare minimum. In But for Now, Gordon Johnston presents poems where the mortal world is more than enough because there is more to it than the merely mortal and where it is possible to hear beyond the outmoded clanking of inherited religious vocabularies. These poems find moments of grace in chance occurrences and through a wide range of styles and methods, they choreograph the random casual events of our existence. Northrop Frye famously asked, "Where is here?" These poems instead ask, "When is now?" Engaged with worlds of waiting and of doing, with enduring and healing, But for Now celebrates music and noise, speech and silence, and asserts that for all the darkness at the edges, there is something shining at the centre of the painting.

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