news | Thursday January 28, 2016
George Elliott Clarke – Canada’s new Parliamentary Poet Laureate, former Toronto Poet Laureate, and lately the author of MMI – is a fan of the work of Garry Thomas Morse. In a video recently published by the Globe and Mail, Clarke riffs on Prairie Harbour, Morse’s latest collection of poetry. Watch the video online.
Here are a few further comments from Clarke about Prairie Harbour:
Prairie: Haven for the fugitive. Harbour: Epicentre of epic. In Prairie Harbour, Garry Thomas Morse drafts a fugitive epic that represents the full flowering of all those seeds of thought that Robert Kroetsch’s Seed Catalogue “planted” almost fifty years ago. This ingenious masterpiece is Morse Code ransacking Brit Lit up to Dylan Thomas, but from the vantage point of Canuck redoubts, such as Fort Garry. Imagine Billy Shakespeare shakin’ his spear at paleface invaders of Native land, or think of Eli Mandel, armed with Greco-Latin allusions, attacking Indian Act racism, and you’ll have an inkling of the finicky, spiky, thoughtful, beautiful verse that’s unfolded herein. How does an Indigenous intellectual imagine the arrival of the “filles du roi” to Nouvelle-France? Here you go: “There is not even a sketchy sketch / of twelve year old orphan girls who / wince under old lechers, only lying / back and thinking of a new colony.” Fugitive reader, get thee into this epic!
Prairie Harbour is available for $18.95.