The Aviary

Miranda Pearson - Bio and Media
pb / 2006-10 / Poetry /
978-0-88982-230-6 / 104pp / $17.95

Connected by the element of air, the poems in The Aviary raise questions about desire, the spirit and the unconscious juxtaposed against the everyday, beautiful and absurd, the surface of “things”. These poems propose an aesthetic of profound anxiety. Like caged birds, they clamour for escape even as they mourn loss. The poems circle ideas of impermanence, of our inner and outer landscapes with all their diverse freedoms and imprisonments.

The poems in this collection also reflect on the intimate power dynamics between men and women, employing an audacious tone of self-mockery to question the value of confession, and taking a mournfully wry view of the lyric and romantic tradition. Infidelity and betrayal are explored with stark and resolute determination, defining a philosophy of loss and attempting to delineate the ways and means of jealousy, grief and ironic ecstasy. Throughout this collection landscape is invoked as balm, a touchstone more reliable than any human relationship. In The Aviary, we fly above the boundaries of countries, in and out of time, and our notions of sanity. We play with the imperfect process of remembrance, where artifice is defense against loss.

I delight in these poems. Their verbal strategies, their echoes and replies, their life-givingness.
––Robert Kroetsch