Modern and Normal
Shortlisted for the 2006 Trillium Book Award for Poetry and longlisted for the 2006 ReLit Awards. A Globe 100 title in 2005.
Evade your eye. Try to see as others do
what is desired or refused. What went wrong.
Or right, then wrong. Objectively, what hangs.
Pull yourself together. Years are neither kind
nor cruel. You drag on. The girl is gone.
Consider that it might be time to call in
a professional. Blood is fearless, runs
to meet a touch, indiscriminate, remembering
the first time it fell in love with the world, unaware
that now you are alone.
– from “Mirror”
In Modern and Normal, Karen Solie takes her on-the-road fascination with being between places to a new level, exploring conceptual and perceptual states of in-betweenness – for example, between what is perceived and what is actually there, or between and among the patterns the world repeats from the cell to the structure of the universe – to find points of intersection. Solie finds a middle ground between the discourses of the hard sciences and the intuitive, a realm of weird overlap wherein lie questions of probability, fate, determinism, chance, luck, and faith. She writes about fractals and physics, but also about bar bands, broken hearts, and the trappings of desire. Some splendid landscape poems celebrate nature while mourning the way in which it’s often exploited and used. Once again Karen Solie offers readers her lovely dexterity and skill in poems which entertain as they move.
- Some Schemes Shouldn’t Work But Do: The Poetry of Karen Solie — David Wojahn
David Wojahn, Numéro Cinq, May 2016
- Curling Up
Liz Gontard, Geist 59; Winter 2005/2006
- Karen Solie, The Living Option: Selected Poems
rob mclennan, rob mclennan's blog, April 9, 2014
- All Fresh Today – a review of The Living Option: Selected Poems by Karen Solie
Michael Hofmann, London Review of Books, April 2014
- a brief note on the poetry of Karen Solie
rob mclennan, rob mclennan's blog, November 17, 2005
About the Author
Karen Solie was born in Moose Jaw and raised in southwest Saskatchewan. Her first collection of poems, Short Haul Engine, won the BC Book Prize Dorothy Livesay Award and was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize, the Gerald Lampert Award, and the ReLit Award. She lives in Toronto.