Humankind, at present, has breached floodgates that have only been breached before in ancient stories of angry gods, or so far back on geologic and biological timelines as to seem more past than past. Against this catastrophic backdrop (at the end of consolations, at the high-water mark), and equipped with a periscopic eye and a sublime metaphorical reach, poet Dan MacIsaac has crowded his debut vessel with sloths and auks, mummified remains and bumbling explorers, German expressionists and Neolithic cave-painters.
With the predominant “I” of so many poetic debuts almost entirely absent, Cries from the Ark is catalogue and cartography of our common mortal — and moral — lot.
Praise for Cries from the Arc:
“These poems are fecund as black dirt, as carnal and joyous. Each piece is an owl pellet, a concentrate of bone and tuft, of bison, auk and Beothuk. Not since Eric Ormsby’s Araby have I read a book so empathic and so glossarily rich. Fair warning, MacIsaac: I’ll be stealing words from you for years.” — Sharon McCartney
“MacIsaac sings a raven’s work, sings the guts from our myths, sings our world with the breath that ‘for a century/ of centuries / only the wild grass / remembered.’ Present but acquainted with antiquity, MacIsaac’s instrument is our own breathing as we say these poems of reverence to ourselves.” — Matt Rader
Our Mortal Neighbours — Canadian Literature