- Noble Gas, Penny Black
- David O'Meara
- 6" × 8.75"
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"Nontitled" (from White Lines series), 2003, by James Erdeg
e-book:You can buy the e-book edition of this title from Kobo, Nook and the Sony Reader Store.
Winner of the 2009 Lampman-Scott Award (for the best book of poetry in the National Capital Region) and shortlisted for the 2009 ReLit Award
Lucid accurate detail and music at every turn.
Many of the poems in Noble Gas, Penny Black explore the subject of departure and arrival, an ongoing theme in David O'Meara's work. Travel - being between places, in stations and airports and unfamiliar cities - creates a psychological, emotional space rife with reassessment, where the individual dwells simultaneously in the future and in the past. At the same time O'Meara imbues the domestic with a similar compelling transience, in poems on love and current events, where "History's narrowed eye" roams landscapes "felt / but never held, like wind over water." O'Meara give us lucid, accurate detail and music at every turn, and is entangled enough with the world to make us ache:
Through the candid gloom of the bar I watch you
mourning there among the faces, a hall of mirrors
lit with stories and clumsy stabs
we hope will frame and explain a life. I hold
myself in a cool remove, stubborn over beers.
Wanting, times like this, to be like you.
from "After the Funeral"
"Good poets have a thing, a sleight-of-hand which shows itself like this: an image appears in a stanza that's been doing its job just fine, thanks very much, and then with no fanfare something quietly blooms before your reading eye, it blooms or flowers and spreads itself back into the lines behind it and over the lines that are still to come, and the poem moves from its previous mode into the kind of place which good poets intuit must be reachable but nevertheless often miss out on, just don't get the syllables right... [There are] lines from Noble Gas, Penny Black, where the syllables are, let me incautiously say, near-perfect... " - Don Coles
David O'Meara reads "The Game" from Noble Gas, Penny Black
Anita Lahey’s Top 10 Poetry Books by Canadians since 2000 - July 4, 2011 - Noble Gas, Penny Black, David O’Meara (Brick, 2008)
We ran a feature review on this book in Arc—and I agreed wholeheartedly with reviewer Carmine Starnino’s enthusiasm for the depth, tone and range of this book. You find here a combination of journey poems and home poems, and a common thread that comes down to a kind of acceptance that there’s no coming back or getting away—that we’re kind of stuck in a state of being lost. O’Meara feels like one of the most honed voices of my generation. There’s no posturing here, no adopted “poetic” voice, no artificial weight. These poems are as solid (and as mesmerizing) as the ball falling fro m the sky to land in an open glove in “The Throw.”
More Brick Books by David O'Meara
- The Vicinity (2003)
- Book has brevity, wallop by Maurice Mierau (Winnipeg Free Press, September 28, 2008)
- David O'Meara's Noble Gas, Penny Black by rob mclennan (rob mclennan's blog, Wednesday, October 8, 2008)
- Remarkable trio by Zachariah Wells (Quill and Quire, November 2008)
- Of Clarity and Clutter by Brian Campbell (The Rover, November 10, 2008)
- Noble gases and paper oranges by Quentin Mills-Fenn (Uptown Magazine, Winnipeg - February 26, 2009)
- Noble Gas, Penny Black by Joanne Epp (Prairie Fire - April 7, 2009)
- Noble Gas, Penny Black by David O'Meara by Ian LeTourneau (poetryreviews.ca - April 13, 2009)
- Noble Gas, Penny Black by Jesse Patrick Ferguson (Matrix 82, spring 2009)
- David O'Meara's NOBLE GAS, PENNY BLACK by Brian Palmu (brianpalmu.blogspot.com - February 7, 2010)
- on David O'Meara: Arriving Early by Carmine Starnino (Arc - summer 2009, volume 62)
- Noble Gas, Penny Black by David O'Meara by Jay Ruzesky (Malahat Review # 167 - summer 2009)
- Wednesday, April 1, 2009 by Inkslinger (The Overdecorated Bookcase - Wednesday, April 1, 2009)
- A Timely Defence by Alessandro Porco (CNQ - Canadian Notes & Queries - issue 76, summer 2009)
- O’Meara prefers plain approach by George Elliott Clarke (Halifax Chronicle Herald, March 8, 2009)
- The Last Three Poetry Books of my Year by Lorette Luzajic (The Literary Addict, November 16, 2008)
- Lampman-Scott 2009 Award Short List Announced. by Lampman-Scott 2009 Award (Arc Poetry Society)
- If not winter, snow, thinking, and slight of hand, notes toward an essay by Sina Queyras (Lemonhound blogspot, February 1, 2009)
- Noble Gas, Penny Black by David O'Meara by Matthew Zantingh (The Goose, issue 9, summer 2011 - pages 33, 34)
- Noble Gas, Penny Black by David O'Meara by Lily Pepper (Ravenswing Zines blog, October 25, 2011)
- O’Meara and Przybylo by George Elliott Clarke (Maple Tree Literary Supplement, Issue # 3)
- Book Review of Noble Gas, Penny Black by Micheline Maylor (Freefall Magazine blog, February 28, 2012)