The great gift of poetry is that it freezes a moment of time so that we can really see it, really feel the truth, beauty and even terror of that single moment. David Helwig’s new volume of poetry, Keeping Late Hours, is that kind of poetry.
Each poem is an opportunity to see with new eyes, an opportunity to replace our hurried, jaded lives with clarity. Helwig swings from the past to the present, from imagining what an ancient king thinks about after his lover slips from his bed in “Le Chateau” to an elegy for a Resolute Bay inhabitant in “Throat Singer” and everything in between.
Only after the reader savours a poem – looking back over the lines that blew back the veils of the quotidian – does it become apparent that many of these poems are written in sonnet form. It’s a testament to Helwig’s skill that these poems speak so easily to the modern ear, and so, dear reader, “praise the coming-on that will unlock/a moment clear as water in a cup.”
Keeping Late Hours
by David Helwig
$18.95, paperback, 98 pp.
Oberon Press, 2015