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Skin Divers

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  95 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Anne Michaels is best known for her blend of historical inquiry and passionate exploration of the personal, and her third collection of poetry, Skin Divers, develops those preoccupations in 13 poems about love, bereavement, and the past. At times, the heavily sensuous language of Michaels's lyrical poems obstructs their effectiveness; she can become too taken with an image ...more
Hardcover, 80 pages
Published September 23rd 1999 by McClelland & Stewart
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No writer touches my heart and makes my cells swing like Anne Michaels. As always she captures the essence of being human, being material and being (in) the world with tenderness, boundless beauty, powerful images, musicality and precision. The latter I find at times almost too much though. With words like sphagnum, keloids, cilia appearing on the same page I'm wondering whether she's become a tad too contrived. I wonder if the quest for precision impedes on the celebration of love, encapsulates ...more
Skin Divers A perfect example of a poetry book that was published more than 10 years ago yet has that timeless quality to it, making it relate-able to people who follow in the coming years. There's a lot of beautiful imagery in this collection and although there aren't as many poems, many of them are rather long, so the magic lasts double the time. It was easy to be drawn into the writing and the atmosphere Michaels created, and each poem evoked emotions from the reader. All the poems had a ligh ...more
Isla McKetta
There are a few immaculate books whose language is so rich that I can only read a few pages at a time before putting them aside to absorb them. They are not inaccessible books, usually the words themselves are very simple, but it's the combination of those words and the unexpected imagery and fresh perspective that blow my writing mind. This is one of those books.

I've wanted to read Michaels' poetry for so long and I loved seeing echoes and starts of Fugitive Pieces and The Winter Vault here. Bu
Theryn Fleming
Skin Divers is Anne Michaels's third volume of poetry. I read it all in one sitting. It's a slim volume, as they say—only 68 pages including the acknowledgments—so this was not a great feat. But... I always feel a little guilty reading a book so fast when I know how long it probably took to write it. I'll try to make up for speed with re-readings.

The most important thing for me about poetry is that it sound right. It should have rhythm. It should flow. Michaels's poetry sounds right. It's... de
Now we’re like planets, holding to each other
from a great distance.
[...] Now we’re hundreds of miles apart,
our short arms keep us lonely,
no one hears what’s in my head.
[...] It’s March, even the birds
don’t know what to do with themselves.
I want you to promise
we’ll see each other again,
you’ll send a letter.
Promise we’ll be lost together
in our forest, pale birches of our legs.

I hear your voice now—I know,
everyone knows promises come from fear.
People don’t live past each other,
you’re always h
Mugren Ohaly
I like her metaphors and images, as well as the sadness she makes you feel.
The last book of published poems by Michaels that I have yet not read. It's a bit bittersweet, I don't want it to end and so i read about one poem from it a month.
The skin is the only way to get to know each other. To dive and swim and keep breathing, paradoxically, when it seems we can't breath anymore.
Some of the most beautiful poetry I've read. Her words flow off the page and paint beautiful images.
An exquisite and meditative collection of poetry from a writer who never wastes her words.
amazing and lovely
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From Canadian Poetry Online:

Anne Michaels was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1958. She is the author of one novel Fugitive Pieces, which explores the possibility of love and faith alter the Holocaust, with language marked by power, elegance, and integrity. Ms. Michaels, who has also composed musical scores for the theater, has said "when you put a tremendous amount of love into your work, as in any r
More about Anne Michaels...
Fugitive Pieces The Winter Vault The Weight of Oranges / Miners Pond / Skin Divers: Poems Miner's Pond Correspondences: A poem and portraits

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