I see my love more clearly from a distance
Winner of the 2013 Robert Kroetsch Edmonton Book Prize
and the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry (Writers Guild of Alberta)
Shortlisted for Gerald Lampert Memorial Award
and a finalist for the High Plains Book Awards – Poetry
Unromantic poems examining life, love, illness, and death
on a ranch on the hard grass prairie.
In Nora Gould’s one-of-a-kind debut, the Prairie itself is a central character: muse, mythic persona, the place of deepest solace and of deepest questioning. The poems focus with great firmness and technical command on the facts of daily life on the farm: impregnating cows, the neighbour kid picking off a coyote, cutting hay, getting water to the herd in a drought, dehorning. But Prairie anecdotalism this ain’t. What is breathtaking about this book is the relation between its exactness of observation and the grief, horror, and beauty that it documents. What the voice achieves, in its very gestures, is a kind of transcendence: not with the purpose of avoiding pain, but in order to make all of it—all of it—seeable and feelable by a human being.
“Fear,” as Gould says “resides in anticipation and in the afterwards, the what-might-have-been and the badger of again.” In the white light of the now, there is no room for it, there is room only for concentration, a precise surgical rendering of details, so that we may sense everything else—the unspeakable—disposing itself in the space around that blaze of attention.
“Uninterested in simplistic lyrical escape, [Gould] can be as dry as a wheat field without rain, as rich as the biopsy of a cancer cell, complete with fallen fruit and pickle-making. I see my love more clearly from a distance is a fresh way of looking at what’s not always regarded, a journal of intensity lived – tough and ambrosial – the land as it is when recorded by a fearless voice.”
– Brian Brett author of Trauma Farm: A Rebel History of Rural Life (Douglas & McIntyre, 2009), winner of the 2009 Writers’ Trust of Canada Non-Fiction Prize and BC Booksellers’ Choice Award
- Science at the Heart: Five Recent Canadian Books of Poetry
Kathleen McConnell, Canadian Literature, Summer 2014
- How to Set Down Grief: Nora Gould’s Selah
Athena Kildegaard, Bloom, April 25, 2017
- Selah – Nora Gould (Brick Books)
Michael Dennis, Today's Book of Poetry, February 23, 2017
- I see my love more clearly from a distance by Nora Gould
Deborah C. Bowen, Redeemer University College, Journal of Canadian Poetry: The Poetry Review, vol. 29, 2012
- Matthew Hall and Nora Gould – How Poems Work: Nora Gould’s ‘While he waited for the school bus’
Matthew Hall, Cordite Poetry Review, October 21, 2014
About the Author
Nora Gould writes from east central Alberta where she ranches with her family. She graduated from the University of Guelph in 1984 with a degree in veterinary medicine. Her debut poetry collection, I see my love more clearly from a distance (Brick Books, 2012), was winner of the 2013 Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book…