In this collection, visionary poet Montney opens the doorway to the soul to uncover love’s uncharted essence.
For centuries poets and philosophers have tried to explain the special relationship between lovers and people in love and to understand the intrinsic language communicated between them. The means to articulate love are often beyond the comprehension of most people, so leave it to a poet who is also a philosopher to scrape back this sacred marrow of passion and strength and make the concept remarkably palpable and present; “Ablaze with you, I burst / into transformed day” (“To an Island girl: Twenty-three for Debbie”). Through his poetic lens and questioning mind, award-winning poet and teacher Montney has attempted to bridge his love of words and his love of thought as a means to find deeper understanding. For more than 35 years, his experiences as a writer, lecturer and teacher of Asian and Indian philosophies have colored his voice to form a challenging yet enjoyable style; “Where have you been, my sweet, my man / for many a long year? / Where have you been, my Kojiyan, / these many a long year?” (“The Eurasian girl to her love”). A good writer uses his life as a camera to help influence his writing; a great writer synthesizes these experiences into touchstones to create a path of knowledge for the reader; “what’s in the unrouged smile / of a mother’s lips pressed together / speaking softly to her four-year-old-son / on the streetcar; in the wired braces / revealed of her grinning nine-year-old / daughter seated opposite” (“What love is”). Montney certainly falls into the latter category. He transports us with words to the lush shapes of Hawaii or the rugged outdoors of Oregon and takes us to new mental plateaus as well. Invoking Plato, Socrates, Ram Dass, Ikhnaton and others, he shows his depth of ability to weave all his knowledge into a variety of poetic styles and rhythms, granting wider personality than if he were merely waxing about love in prose. Not only does this collection include his noted works “Lynne” and “Song of Sophroniscus’ Son,” but several other pieces that will likely further this author's acclaim.
A great read for lovers, lovers of poetry and those with an interest in philosophy.