Orrery is a collection that orbits around the theme of Pioneer 10, an American space probe launched in 1972 to study Jupiter's moons. Having achieved many firsts before reaching Jupiter and a few more after being hurled away from the solar system, the probe was retired in 2003 when NASA stopped sending signals to it, leaving it to wander alone through deep space.
On a trajectory that may long outlast Earth, Pioneer has transformed from a finite object into an infinite one, a muddling of the mundane and the sublime, of mortality and immortality, that is echoed throughout the collection: "I could have been a dancer, a stunt double, / and you, Pioneer 10, a pop can, a pie plate, / a gear driving the orrery of all you sail beyond." Inhabiting the perceived imaginative and philosophical space of the probe, Kane's poems ignite a radical empathy in which human beings, caterpillars, stars, animal bones and other hunks of the material stuff of the universe are seen to share a common condition.
Exploring ideas of materiality, consciousness, transformation and space travel, Orrery is as exquisite as its namesake, a compact vision of our world that helps us to orient ourselves in time and space, inspiring wonder. (From Harbour Publishing)
Donna Kane is a poet from British Columbia. She has published three poetry collections, the others are called Somewhere, a Fire and Erratic.
- 37 Canadian poetry collections to watch for in fall 2020
- Here are the finalists for the 2020 Governor General's Literary Awards