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Undone

by Sue Goyette

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Shortlisted for the 2005 Atlantic Poetry Prize, the 2005 Dartmouth Book Award and the 2005 Acorn-Plantos Award for People’s Poetry

Undone is a cornucopia of passionate poems arranged into three sections. “Forgotten” has mostly to do with the aftermath of a heart-rending breakup; “Kindred” features poems on fellow artists in poetry, music and painting (ranging from Georgia O’Keeffe to Snoopy, beagle-novelist); in “Apprentice,” leaving is transformed into celebration, poem after poem about fierce loving of a world that we will have to leave. In these hard-hitting, highly personal poems, lamentation is a key note. Crushing loneliness weighs heavily on the spirit. But Sue Goyette has ways of sharing pain with a compensating lift: wonderful flights of metaphor, language charged with verbal energy. “Isn’t that our job,” she asks, “to coax out the light in the story?” It’s a job she takes to heart and performs brilliantly.

The poems in Undone have the amplitude proper to “watching wide” – a discipline good for seeing shooting stars and, as this book illustrates, all other kinds of light in a darkness palpable but never enveloping, not when probed so truly and sung so beautifully.

If I had to do it again, I’d place a stethoscope on the heart of us
Sooner. I’d prescribe Neruda, not the despair but the slow blossom of 20 kisses.

Goodbye, goodbye to the slippery duvet of this bed. The cold floor
of awake and how hope can have insomnia, spend the whole night wishing.

Heartbreak is a geological occurrence.

from “A Version of Courage”

Second printing

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About the Author

Sue Goyette lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia and has published three books of poems, The True Names of Birds, Undone and outskirts (Brick Books) and a novel, Lures (HarperCollins, 2002). Her fourth collection of poems, Ocean, is forthcoming from Gaspereau Press in 2013. She's been nominated for several awards including the Governor General's Award for…

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Additional Info

  • ISBN: 1894078330
  • ISBN-13: 9781894078337
  • Pages: 156
  • Year: 2004
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.75 x 0.5 in
  • Category:
  • Cover Art:

    "Boulevard II" by Carol Hoorn Fraser, 1982

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