Set firmly at the end of the millennium, A Broken Bowl takes on the burden of history, with its heaped atrocities, its unimaginable sufferings. This long poem is an angry lament, a summoning of fragments, a meditation in the midst of an exhausted world. By turns lyric, satiric, elegiac and incantatory, A Broken Bowl is filled with passionate elemental writing in the tradition of Howl and Crow.
Praise for A Broken Bowl:
“Picture-building poetry doesn’t get better than this. Patrick Friesen communicates directly to your imagination. These fragments of a broken bowl are, indeed, much greater than the sum of their parts as they spur imaginal encounters not only with Friesen but with the scattered bits of the reader’s self – each piece a new gesture to try on.” — Per Brask
“These are the end days – someone’s got a kitchen knife and is ‘looking for the government’; the river is a ‘filthy transfusion.’ Patrick Friesen sings this dark song with beauty and a guttering love. We’re long past apology, reconstruction: there’s only Friesen’s voice not nearly enough, sure, but the only thing worthy of trust.” — Tim Lilburn
“This ambitious long poem is an archaeology of the modern age, unearthing jagged fragments of our social violence, moral decay and self-deceit. Like prophets in any age, Friesen bears hard truth. But, in his singing, he offers hope: “Something still left/ some last good is us.” Jury Citation, 1997 Governor General’s Award for Poetry