Books·Canadian

Thirsty

Dionne Brand's book won the Pat Lowther Award for poetry in 2003, and was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize.

Dionne Brand

This is a poem about the city. About a man who has visions, hovering on the edge but hating it, restless and at war with the world but wanting the peace that passeth understanding. Everything he does is half-done, except his death. When he falls, his parched spirit crying "thirsty," his family falls apart.

This is a poem about Toronto, the city that's never happened before, about waiting for a bus, standing on a corner, watching a stranger: the bank to one corner, the driving school on another, the milk store and the church. This is also about the poet, her own restless sensibility woven in and out through moments of lyric beauty, dramatic power and storytelling grace. It is written in the margins, like a medieval manuscript with shades of light and darkness. (From McClelland & Stewart)

From the book

This city is beauty
unbreakable and amorous as eyelids,
in the streets, pressed with fierce departures,
submerged landings,
I am innocent as thresholds
and smashed night birds, lovesick,
as empty elevators


From Thirsty by Dionne Brand ©2002. Published by McClelland & Stewart

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