Mythopoetic: that’s the word Andrew Steeves of Gaspereau Press invented to describe Goyette’s much-anticipated poetry collection, Ocean.
And truly, these poems raise our multifaceted relationship with the Atlantic to the stuff of myth, drawing on it as both muse and monster—a wild thing that can’t, and shouldn’t, be tamed.
The highly imaginative collection serves to create a folklore of Halifax—a city, “once the capital of the medieval fog trade,” where “We ate copious amounts/of shadows cast/by heritage buildings.” The ocean buoys; is “the broth of our prayers,” and is met with sacrifices, talismans, and, in the end, mourned.
There is a distinct eco-critical bent here, but it is one of innumerable subjects approached with a magic realist sensibility, making this sequence of 56 poems neither pretentious nor didactic.
A love letter to Halifax, “This is the unspoken history of our city,” and the best poetry collection of the year.
by Sue Goyette
$19.95, paperback 80 pp.
Gaspereau Press, April 2013