Book - 2009
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Launched to prominence with her first collection of poems, Karen Solie continued her upward trajectory with Modern and Normal. Now, with Pigeon, this singer of existential bewilderment takes another step forward. She finds an analog for the divine in a massive, new model tractor and an analogue for the malign in the face of the New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez. Her poems are X-rays of delusions and mistaken perceptions, intellectual explorations of bad luck, creeping catastrophe, and the eros of danger come dressed to kill. Her ear is impeccable and her syntax the key to a rare, razor-sharp poetic intelligence. Pigeon expands Solie's growing readership, making clear to anyone who encounters her that there is still fresh, unmapped territory in the world of poetry. As poet Michael Hofmann said, "Solie's work should be read wherever English is read."
Publisher: Toronto : House of Anansi Press, 2009
ISBN: 9780887848230
Branch Call Number: PB 819.16 Solie 3564
Characteristics: 100 p


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Dec 20, 2017

Poetry being very much a matter of personal taste, I have mixed feelings about this collection. Some of her meandering pieces such as "Pathology of the Senses" leave me completely disengaged. On the other end of the spectrum, she's among the best of contemporary poets at sardonic observation of the society we inhabit. That really comes to the fore in poems such as "Tractor" and "Medicine Hat Calgary One-Way"; the latter is a real gem.

Jun 16, 2010

Karen Solie's poems have a voice that is a potent amalgam of emotions and perspectives. In that voice is the spiritual grit and respect for the natural world of someone raised on a farm. In it, too, is the cynical resilience of someone who has chosen to be an urban dweller, and who manages to celebrate what is harsh and quirky about that environment. It's all tempered with revelatory sensitivity and tenderness, often prompted by chance collisions of those natural and less natural worlds. "Migration" - movingly dedicated to her aunt when Solie read it at the Griffin Poetry Prize readings in Toronto this spring - is a standout. "Pigeon" richly deserves its Griffin Poetry Prize and Pat Lowther Award distinctions. Solie's body of work, while still modest in numbers of collections, constitutes a high watermark in Canadian poetry.


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Jun 16, 2010

Karen Solie launched to prominence with her first collection of poems, Short Haul Engine (2001), finalist for the Griffin Poetry Prize and winner of many other awards and citations. She continued her upward trajectory with Modern and Normal (2005), and is now considered one of Canada's best poets. Pigeon is yet another leap forward for this singer of existential bewilderment. These poems are X-rays of our delusions and mistaken perceptions, explorations of violence, bad luck, fate, creeping catastrophe, love, and the eros of danger. Once again, Solie shows that her ear is impeccable, her poetic intelligence rare and razor-sharp.

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