Don McKay

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Don McKay, CM (born 1942) is a Canadian poet, editor, and educator.


'Baler Twine'[edit]

  • Poets are supremely interested in what language can't do , in order to gesture outside, they use language in a way that flirts with its destruction.
  • The nature poet may (should in fact ), resort to the field guide or library but will keep coming back , figuratively speaking, to the trail - to the grain of experience.
  • The first indication of one's status as a nature poet is that one does not invoke language right off when talking about poetry.
  • Admitting you are a nature poet, nowadays, may make you seem something of a fool!
  • We inflict our rage for immortality on things, marooning them on static islands.
  • Before the wonderful, terrible wrestling with words and music there is the state of mind I'm calling 'poetic attention' ... a sort of readiness ... a form of knowing.

Other quotes[edit]

  • As I grew older the poetic surround becomes more important. I realize that the 'poetic attention' was more important to me than poetry was. The 'poetic attention' being a kind of longing without the desire to posess.
  • The medatative approach acknowledges that one moment will inevitably lead on to the next. We accept immortality instead of fighting it off.
    • 'The Appropriate Gesture' interview with Ken Babstock Dec 2001.
  • There's a place
    between desire and memory, some back porch
    we can neither wish nor recall
    • 'Apparatus' 1997 McClelland & Stewart Nov 2014
  • Phenomenology is one name for the path back from the object to the thing, the counterbalance to the objectification or 'progress'.Poetry is another.
    • 'Paradoxides' 2012

Quotes about McKay[edit]

  • McKay's meditations on times evidence acquire a similar heft, proposing, in their discipline of mind and generosity of spirit, a way to be at home in the world.
    • Judges Citation 'Strike/Slip' Griffin Poetry Prize 2007

External link[edit]

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