THE DUMBFOUNDING by Margaret Avison


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Dumbfounding"" is not a strictly accurate title; for if this poetry is spare and sometimes cryptic, it is also marvellously articulate, its words and images precisely embodying a wide range of ideas and emotions. What the title presumably refers to is a sense of religious awe, both in several poems specifically about Christianity and in many others in which the wonder is life itself. There are many voices. The religious poems have something of the compressed strength and broken rhythms of Gerard Manley Hopkins' poetry; others use almost colloquial phrases, everyday realities, and lists of living things seen vividly and with a transforming joyousness. Obscure at times in meaning, this poetry is nearly always fascinating in the pebble-hard strength and brightness and sureness of its language.

Publisher: Norton