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Sailing to Babylon

4.2  ·  Rating details ·  20 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Sailing to Babylon, James Pollock's debut collection, is filled with poems of exploration and discovery: a schoolboy's fascination with his teacher; a Bible inherited from a grandmother; an extended Dantean hike in terza rima. Pollock muses, too, on figures from Canadian history--explorers Henry Hudson, David Thompson, and John Franklin, the critic Northrop Frye, the piani ...more
Paperback, First Edition, 80 pages
Published June 26th 2012 by Able Muse Press
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James Murphy
Jun 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
The heart of this remarkable volume of poetry is the long poem "Quarry Park" in which the poet's son, Felix, acts as a kind of Virgil leading him through a park which seems to be both heaven and hell. Death is encountered through the interaction of ants and aphids. The spirit of Eliot's "Four Quartets" is evoked with the recurring sight and sound of a cardinal. Along the way Pollock points our history in landmarks and materials important to the Indians who originally walked the trails through th ...more
Jan 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Prow is Proof of Pollock’s Prowess

There’s a common misperception about poetry; namely, that it’s not grounded in reality. Poetry’s detractors complain about abstraction, and indeed, if you don’t have the literary wherewithal to process phonemes and lines of lyrics into meaningful sensation, it will never be for you. But even poetry’s most ardent backers will often agree that it’s an art not always grounded in decipherable reality. James Pollock’s Sailing to Babylon defies such definition. The sl

Jul 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In an interview with Shusha Guppy of The Paris Review, Yves Bonnefoy said, “Poet is a word one can use when speaking of others, if one admires them sufficiently.” Well, I’m happy to introduce you all to James Pollock, poet.

This year, Pollock’s collection Sailing to Babylon was on the Canadian shortlist for the Griffin Poetry Prize. Here’s part of Judge Mark Doty’s citation, “The sentence, in James Pollock’s remarkably assured debut volume, is a unit of music and of time, a carefully modulated ch
Oct 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Check out my in-depth interview with James Pollock as we discuss the art of poetry and his debut collection Sailing to Babylon (Able Muse Press, 2012) which has been nominated for the Governor General's Award in Poetry 2012. Read the interview now on my TTQ Blog.
Calypso Kenney
May 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A poet interested in archaeology, Canadian history, and the small moments of each day. And who can mimic a cardinal and name trees. And who writes beautifully. This book of poems has everything one could want. I read it on the ferry to and from the island, which seemed fitting since so many of the poems are about doomed Canadian explorers getting stuck in sea-ice.
Aug 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: extras
This is not my reader's review. I will come back to write one as soon as I can. Meanwhile:

Bought it on Nook and now buying it in print form so I can pass it on... and buy it again... and pass it on...
Must read poetry for 2012!

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James Pollock is the author of Sailing to Babylon (Able Muse Press, 2012), which was a finalist for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Governor General's Literary Award in Poetry, runner-up for the Posner Poetry Book Award, and winner of an Outstanding Achievement Award in Poetry from the Wisconsin Library Association; and You Are Here: Essays on the Art of Poetry in Canada (The Porcupine's Quill, 2 ...more
More about James Pollock