Governor General Award-nominated poet Richard Harrison’s latest collection is a meditation on fathers, fatherhood, God and war. Powerful images of aging and death are cut with bright slivers of childhood, all set against the backdrop of the war in Iraq, and the questions war and death raise. Harrison’s transparent verse and beautiful ability to capture the voices around him draw the reader into what may be his best collection yet.
When my father saw the signs
that he might die if he did nothing,
and he might die anyway at that,
blood thickening in his stomach
like red wax poured in a cold cup,
he took a bath.
While the ambulance sang
to him from the streets,
he undressed and took a bath,
my father, alone and naked
in the water, ready for his heaven.
Worthy of His Fall (Liam Ford, PoetryReviews.ca, 7/15/2006).
"Harrison reveals beauty in death and we understand there are some things that can only be captured in words, and in times of war it is in the sanctuary of these words — love, faith, heaven — that we find whatever solace we can."
The kind of Luck that finds your husband dead beside you (Christopher Wiebe, Vue Weekly, 2/23/2006).
"The voice in Harrison’s poems demonstrate a ruthless, transparency of thought we hide from even those we love. In this nakedness and vulnerability, Harrison finds a terrible, necessary beauty."
Other Titles by Richard Harrison
Big Breath of a Wish (1998)