Vox Humana

by E. Alex Pierce


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Poems of great passion and tenderness, as close to rapture as a writer can get and still hold on.

E. Alex Pierce’s voice can be heard echoing down the long corridors of memory and myth.  It’s not that these poems live in the past; instead, they manage to bring it back to life with uncanny sensual details and an urgency that makes you realize some fires never really go out. Vox Humana is all lilt and discipline in its courtliness, its surrender to the theatre of the moment at its most alive.

Pump organ, stops labelled
vox, vox, vox – tremolo, bellows filling air.

Take this creature into your throat pipe. Gristle,
heft, and hide. Rasp, slide the whistle – the alder
cuts its throat to speak its sound.

– from “Vox animalia”

“‘Poetry’, someone once wrote, ‘is the music of consciousness’, and Vox Humana is indeed a rich diapason rooted in the landscape of Nova Scotia’s Sable River. But the wonderful thing about the collection is its lightness and optimism – though its subject matter is often love and loss, it can be retrospective without being nostalgic, and elegiac without overbearing solemnity. Good poetry is always redemptive, and one leaves this collection refreshed, exhilarated and renewed.

“Its scope is wide: beautifully crafted family reminiscences; Bach and Beethoven; Raphael and Goltzius; Shakespeare; the Greek Myths and the fate of the Romanovs.  But whatever the subject, the real strength of Pierce’s work lies in the richness of its landscape which is forever opening out before us, transfigured by an inner music and wonder and light.” – John Glenday


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About the Author

E. Alex Pierce lives in East Sable River, Nova Scotia where she is developing a centre for writers and artists. Her work has been anthologized in Words Out There: Women Writers in Atlantic Canada (Roseway), The Best Canadian Poetry 2008 (Tightrope), and in Undercurrents: New Voices in Canadian Poetry (Cormorant).

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Additional Info

  • ISBN: 1926829719
  • ISBN-13: 9781926829715
  • Pages: 76
  • Year: 2011
  • Dimensions 6 x 8.75 in
  • Category: ,
  • Cover Art:

    Photograph by George Steeves from the series "The Pictures of Ellen," copyright George Steeves, Collection of the National Gallery of Canada.

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