Everything moves without change. The trees without leaves dance sadly, allowing nothing to get in their way. Not sorrow, not snow under snow, but a slow forgetting. The old moon sleeps with the young moon in her arms. Words like that are like reaching out in the darkness, wanting to sleep and not being able to. Reaching out to find nothing at the end of the hand but cold. Wondering at flesh, its need, as the trees who do not remember leaves, dance sadly with a steady dumb grief, their dark moving a monotonous music in the snowy night. Recipient of the Governor General's Award and many other major literary prizes, and regarded by fellow writers and critics as "the best poet of his generation", Patrick Lane is one of Canada's foremost literary figures. "Syllable of Stone" is his first book to be published in the UK and contains work from 9 of his poetry collections, selected by "Arc"'s international editor, John Kinsella, who also provides a thoughtful and illuminating introduction to Lane's work, part of it in the form of a discussion with the poet himself.
Intense, starkly honest, often disturbing, yet also subtle, compassionate, even gentle, Lane's poems are always political, driven by personal experience - and whether he's writing about the natural world or the human condition, they make an indelible impression. Patrick Lane's long-overdue arrival on the British poetry scene is an event to be applauded.
"A truly great poet... Lane will deliver warts and all, and you'll be shocked and delighted at once. You'll find yourself thinking about issues you'd rather push to the back of your mind." John Kinsella"