In John Steffler's luminous collection, And Yet, dreams, memory and desire are forms of wilderness that burst into our daily lives, inspiring us to see ourselves and the world anew. Exuberant, powerful, even prescient, the poems confront the unknown and unexpected around and within us and call up our impulse to resist certainty and finality. The flimsiest shelter might seem best; a trail guide's house is revealed as a forest beyond names. What is outside might be most desired; a suit of clothes gazing into a mirror longs to become an iguana. In the title poem, a road-weary traveller comes in sight of the longed-for home--yet at the last minute turns away. Restless in their own language, the poems muster the impact of direct sensory experience and remind us what it means to live closer to the physical world. At times their attenuated forms acquire the anxious beauty of Giacometti sculptures. Our capacity for surprising change, these poems suggest, is both a cause for caution and a reason to hope that we can reinvent ourselves and transform our destructive technological culture. (From McClelland & Stewart)
John Steffler is a poet and novelist from Toronto. He was the Canadian parliamentary laureate from 2006 to 2008. His other poetry collections include That Night We Were Ravenous, The Wreckage of Play and The Grey Islands. His novel The Afterlife of George Cartwright was shortlisted for the 1992 Governor General's Literary Award for fiction.
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