Review: Whiteout in Canadian LiteratureMay 6, 2013
If Murray successfully translates fourteenth-century Italian poetry into present-day Newfoundland, he likewise telegraphs local vernacular as vital element of lyric tradition, whether in the sing-song rhymes ofSong for a Memory(The old men are proud of their jukebox picks, / Humming in time where the words come unfixed) or the philosophical familiarity ofSt. John’s(Your future could lean in that door and you / might not recognize it as anything / but the next in another series of nows). The collection’s twoLigaturepoems—Ligature ( )andLigature (&)—succinctly articulate Murray’s poetic in Whiteout (a condition during which sea, sky, and land have no discernible lines of demarcation). Signalling the poet’s fealty to linguistic marks and sounds, these poems employ ligature as metaphorical conjunction of two bodies come together assomething resembling an usthat just mightmake a shape of life.