Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Chronicle Herald Review of Agnes Walsh's Going Around with Bachelors

Words of surprise from Toronto, proud lyrics of Newfoundland
The Chronicle Herald
September 11, 2007
George Elliott Clarke

ELANA WOLFF is a Toronto poet and winner of the 2004 Lichen Magazine Tracking a Serial Poet Contest. You Speak to Me in Trees (Guernica, $15) is her third verse outing.

Newfoundland poet Agnes Walsh is the inaugural St. John’s Poet laureate. Her second collection, Going Around with Bachelors (Brick, $21), includes a CD of some of the book’s poems, recited by the author [...]

Agnes Walsh means to map Newfoundland, its speech and cultures, in proud lyrics that sound like stories: "The sun was all cultures, in proud lyrics that sound like stories : "The sun was all hallelujah and gave the grass that warm, green smell . . . / I looked at the clouds moving / fast in the sky above and felt that shiver of life / when it holds you and shakes you between not knowing / and knowing something . . . " Really, the poems are overlooked monologues: "that night your sister came round / to my back door with the November wind . . . / and her talking through her hair to me, // . . . and she was telling me to come to you . . . / you had your mother a prisoner of fright in her own home . . . // And Jesus, I swore then, / I’ll never go around with another bachelor."

To read the rest of this review, please click here.

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In the Old Country of My Heart, Agnes Walsh's first book of poems, is available as an unabridged audio recording, read by Agnes Walsh with unaccompanied ballads by Simone Savard-Walsh and pump organ music by George Morgan, from Rattling Books.