Donna Kane, two titles

I finished Donna Kane's two books while I was away, but unfortunately for both of us, they were pushed well into the background: by Gillian Wigmore's poetics in Soft Geoography; by Theresa Kishkan's prose in Phantom Limb and Red Laredo Boots (which I'm not able to finish until I get the book back!); and by my grandmother's gradual death.

"Unfortunately," I say, because with different competition, these books would have made a stronger impression on me. Instead, I'm left thinking of good lines and solid accomplishment. Clearly Donna Kane is a talented poet, and I appreciate her contributions to Canadian literature (and the environmental arts and humanities more broadly in her Muskwa-Kechika Artists' and Naturalists' Camps), but neither Erratic nor Somewhere, A Fire had the impact on me I thought they might.

Mind you, from Erratic I really appreciated "Once I Ate a Moose Turd," which is thoroughly self-aware, and "When You Came to Me Asking to Be Held 1," which has lovely intimacy. From Somewhere, A Fire I particularly liked "Who Doesn't" and "Two Knees Touching," both of which are about the sudden awareness of the twins of separation and anxiety, rendered with some precise line breaks and a tight closure.

I liked them fine. I've just liked more things better, especially recently.


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