Steffler, John: And Yet
McClelland & Stewart, paperback
Publication Date: September 1, 2020
Publisher Marketing: A former Poet Laureate of Canada and finalist for the Griffin Poetry Prize returns with a wide-ranging new collection of poems.
In John Steffler's luminous new collection, And Yet, dreams, memory and desire are forms of wilderness that burst into our daily lives, inspiring us to see ourselves and the world anew. Exuberant, powerful, even prescient, the poems confront the unknown and unexpected around and within us and call up our impulse to resist certainty and finality. The flimsiest shelter might seem best; a trail guide's house is revealed as a forest beyond names. What is outside might be most desired; a suit of clothes gazing into a mirror longs to become an iguana. In the title poem, a road-weary traveller comes in sight of the longed-for home--yet at the last minute turns away. Restless in their own language, the poems muster the impact of direct sensory experience and remind us what it means to live closer to the physical world. At times their attenuated forms acquire the anxious beauty of Giacometti sculptures. Our capacity for surprising change, these poems suggest, is both a cause for caution and a reason to hope that we can reinvent ourselves and transform our destructive technological culture.