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Tightrope Teaser Tuesday: The Best Canadian Poetry In English, 2009

Posted By Tightrope Books On November 4, 2009 @ 12:21 am In News | No Comments

[1] Welcome back for another installment of Tightrope Teaser Tuesday, where we give readers a brief look into one of our new or forthcoming titles. This week’s teaser comes from The Best Canadian Poetry in English, 2009, edited by A.F. Moritz and with series editor Molly Peacock.

The 50 poems in the collection were selected from a long list of 100 poems drawn from Canadian literary journals and magazines. With this anthology, readers – often baffled by proliferating poems and poets – will be able to tap into the remarkable and vibrant Canadian poetry scene, checking out the currents – and cross currents – of poetry in a volume distilled by a round robin of distinguished editorial taste.

The Best Canadian Poetry in English, 2009 can be purchased from our office at 602 Markham St., or online from our website.

Please enjoy “Teaching English” by Tom Wayman, one of the fifty fantastic poems featured in this year’s edition of Best Canadian Poetry.

Teaching English

What does English not know
that it needs to hear from me? So many instructors
have drawn its attention to the absurd spelling,
how chopping a tree down
is not the opposite of chopping a tree up.
The language has endured enough talk
about the “they’re”/“their”/“there” wackiness
and users’ continual bafflement
over the purpose of the apostrophe.

Can I convey anything
to help English function better
where it earns a paycheque
or during intimate encounters?
I regard it, scratch my head.
It stares back at me while it sits,
headphones on, earbuds pumping music
directly into the auditory nerve,
vocabulary shrinking along with
cognitive ability—consequence of too much television
before age three, perhaps, or excessive cellphone use
—eyes blank
as a missing comma.


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