Canadian

Selah

Selah by Nora Gould is a series of fragments that form one long poem that never slips into sentimentality but breaks the heart.

Nora Gould

Selah, Nora Gould's second poetry collection, is a sequence of fragments, which when stitched together form a poem that runs from the ranch land of Alberta into the heart of a shared house and a shared life.

Selah is about living with a husband recently diagnosed with dementia; it's about the looking back and the imagining forward, about saying what cannot be said — the wayfaring bush and its shadow. It's about finding a way through all this: "The palette darker than I'd planned," yes, but also shot through with humour and care, crafted with both frankness and decorum.

In her award-winning previous book, I see my love more clearly from a distance, Gould wrote, "When Zoë finishes high school/ I'll be on this horse of marriage as if riding after freezing rain:/ muscles tensed to lift me in the saddle." In many ways this book is that ride. It pares away anything that does not immediately, albeit subtly, get to the aching muscle of the matter.

Explore the Governor General's Literary Award for poetry finalists: