This Newfoundland poet’s second book covers classic themes of poetry; the first section inquires into loss, the second into reason. He does so through classic subjects, like one’s hometown, or the author’s relationship with his parents. Rowe chooses “My Father’s Pocket Knife” as both a starting point to describe their bond – “The handle curved like the back of a German brown / he taught me to raise from rippling water / with nothing but a line and hope”, but also a metaphor: “a stainless steel elongation of himself”.
Rowe’s meditations on his place in the world suggest the ecopoetics of Thoreau, and of Halifax’s Brian Bartlett. The apt yet original phrases describe things like a “narrow stretch of lane, fence funneled” and a “sawblade shoreline”. He approaches hefty concerns with lightness; in discussing the inevitability of endings, “Touch” asks that you “hold out the stem of your hands” to autumn’s “martyrs,” falling leaves.
geo*logics successfully mixes classic aspects of poetry with a deft use of language and form to create something wholly Rowe’s own.
by Stephen Rowe
$16.95, paperback, 72 pp.
Breakwater Books, March 2015