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Thirty-Seven Small Songs & Thirteen Silences

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  45 ratings  ·  5 reviews

For the past several years, Jan Zwicky has been developing a definition and working examples of the word “lyric.” Her writing has taken the shape of poetry and philosophy, neither necessarily confined to the traditions of those genres. Thirty-seven Small Songs & Thirteen Silences is the latest in this ongoing focus, previously explored in collections like Songs for Rel

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Paperback, 80 pages
Published March 15th 2005 by Gaspereau Press
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4.38  · 
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 ·  45 ratings  ·  5 reviews


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James Murphy
Apr 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love the poetry of Jan Zwicky. Most of her poems are small, especially so in this volume. But they blow up in the mind to make a huge consciousness. Zwicky's poetry creates a province of sensitivity to be inhabited by quiet emotion and by a need for stillness. You want to sit meditatively for a time and let yourself sink into the image or state of mind she's conjured up. With poems of almost haiku-like compactness she paints a mental setting we may have experienced and been moved by but whose ...more
Sienna
Mar 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011, poetry
Jan Zwicky is that rarest of creatures: a poet, a philosopher, a musician. Each of these guises (the last through the musicality of language) manifests in her every work, along with nature, glorious self meeting the external, and this is no exception. Glad I finally picked it up. An example:

Night Song

The sky turns its dark head
and the breezes fold themselves among the leaves.
Who is left?
The last thrush-song has soaked into the earth.

A little stream is here
unsleeping, and the small panes
of the w
...more
mwpm
May 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
From the "Thirty-Seven Small Songs"...
The sky today: a single
perfect sound, an open
throat, the now
that's everywhere and all there is
of time -

the sky, perhaps,
Parmenides
looked up into and said
what is for being
is for thinking, too.

I guess I better
wear a hat!
- Small Song: Blue, pg. 16

*

You lift like dark itself
out of the night - an overcoat,
your lining hung with night-perfume
and dew. O river of cedar-shadow,
chinchilla skin of night!
You spread beneath my window
and everything you touch
known nakedness
...more
Andrea McDowell
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a library book that I may need to get my own copy of.

All of the pieces in this volume were short; most just one or two stanzas. But in that space they managed the magic poetry trick of taking my brain outside of itself. I really love her work.
Dave
May 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Above the fenceline,
drifts of crows,

wonderful precise poetry
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Jan Zwicky’s books of poetry include Songs for Relinquishing the Earth, which won the Governor General’s Award, Robinson’s Crossing, which won the Dorothy Livesay Prize, and, most recently Forge, which was short-listed for the Griffin Prize. Her books of philosophy include Wisdom & Metaphor, Lyric Philosophy, and Alkibiades’ Love (forthcoming 2015).
“Even the rain in its night singing, / the night rain in its forgetting, / is a kind of light.” 3 likes
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