Book details

Publication date: March 2003
Features: Halftone illustrations
Series: cuRRents
Keywords: Literature / Poetry
Subject(s): POETRY / General, Literature / Poetry, Literature / Poetry, Literature, Poetry
Publisher(s): The University of Alberta Press

E.D. Blodgett. E.D. Blodgett (1935-2018) published numerous books of poetry as well as diverse criticism and literary translations. He was Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature at the University of Alberta. He won the Governor General’s Award twice, for poetry and translation. From 2007 to 2009 he was Edmonton's Poet Laureate.

Jacques Brault. Poet, novelist, playwright and essayist Jacques Brault has crafted drawings to accompany the text.

"These tiny quatrains are compressed meditations that expand in the mind to reveal glimpse after glimpse of a cosmic vision in which what happens in the world of animals resonates in the human world and in the realm of the divine. They have a kinship with cultural paradigms that reach back to a time before written language. Like the poems of Emily Dickinson and the songs of William Blake, their surprising energy is not the result of simple aggregation, but resides in and releases from the fact that the whole of Blodgett's poetic universe is present in each of its parts." George Amabile

"E.D. Blodgett's An Ark of Koans is a series of deeply meditative, zoological-themed quatrains by a typically sublime Edmonton-based, Governor General's Award-winning poet. The perfect chunks of verse in this book are almost holographic in nature, each snippet embodying its own complete poetic universe, plumbing philosophical depths without ever losing sight of everyday vernacular comfort....You can't ask for better bedside reading." Gilbert A. Bouchard, The Edmonton Journal

"Energetic, wonderfully presented, and celebrating natural and animal life, these moving verses offer reflections to quietly ponder at leisure." - Wisconsin Bookwatch

"Governor-General's-Award winner E.D. Blodgett presents an excellent new volume, An Ark of Koans. Montreal illustrator Jacques Brault (a poet himself) accompanies the poems with a series of whimsical watercolours that recede as watermarks on the page (a curling fish, a slumping frog, and two insects are particularly notable). The book comprises a series of quatrains on animals, all admitted to the ark of a riddling mind, where they are preserved, one would like to think, from a flood of human indifference. This is by no means a book of environmental protest, but a poetry of identification, of imaginative engagement with the creaturely domain, the meditative word that incarnates and preserves....Blodgett's moving poems build a second ark of sorts, minute riddlings in a fallen rational world that bring love and wonderment to the cause." University of Toronto Quarterly, Vo. 74, No. 1, Winter 2004/5

" The thematic furniture is outsize-but they are handled so lightly and dreamily that the poems seem like so many snow-globes with their two or three primary elements falling in a soft flurry of words..These paragraphs offer a master-class on the use of repetition, or in other words, on how to walk elegantly in long dress without having to gather up the train of your own utterances and without once tripping. As the last line tells it, these poems turn continually upon themselves, which is what makes them mesmerizing." Jeffery Davidson, Volume 75, Number 1, Winter 2006.

"The poems in An Ark of Koans can be read simply for the beautiful images of the natural world or, on a deeper level, as a search for universal truths made visible through the natural world. Each four-line poem paints a picture with depth and beauty, quietly conveying far more than a simple description of the creature." Susan McKnight, Candian Book Review Annual, 2004

AAUP Book, Jacket & Journal Show - Jackets & Covers

The Alcuin Society Citations for Excellence in Book Design in Canada - 3rd, Poetry

Alberta Book Awards - Trade Fiction Book of the Year

Alberta Book Awards - Book Design of the Year

Alberta Book Awards - Book Cover Design of the Year

Word Guild Writing Awards - Finalist, Books - Special

ISBNs: 9780888644046 978-0-88864-404-6 Title: an ark of koans