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Review: Whiteout in Canadian Literature

May 6, 2013

There’s  a somewhat academically dense review of Whiteout in Canadian Literature. It’s nice to have one so late in the book’s life, though. Buy the book here.

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 of Song for a Memory (The old men are proud of their jukebox picks, / Humming in time where the words come unfixed) or the philosophical familiarity of St. 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 two Ligature poems—Ligature ( ) and Ligature (&)—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 as something resembling an us that just might make a shape of life.

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