Karen Solie’s Pigeon was published in 2010 by House of Anansi. I didn’t get around to reading it until 2017. Too bad for me…when I did finally get around to reading it, I found some amazing compositions that restored my confidence that Canadian poetry, as a genre, is still capable of producing poets to be emulated.
As a collection, I find that the poems are both intelligent and grounded. There is a refreshing coherence in the imagery. Solie provides the reader with room, and motivation, to think. I’ve found in my summer reading that so many poets seem to be interested in performing, indoctrinating and startling that they’ve forgotten to leave their readers room to engage. Solie’s Pigeon speaks without echoing. And that’s a terrific thing.
Examples? I recommend The Girls, Bone Creek, Park Place, Prayers for the Sick and Pigeon. Solie does something important in her poetry. She provided highly particular truths that may or may not be shared in the particulars but from which generalizations may be achieved. This inherently inductive presentation strikes me as contrary to much that is wrong in poetry as I’ve experienced it for a very long time. As I’ve already suggested, this is poetry to be studied and imitated.
When I look at my own poetry in comparison to this award-winning book, I understand that many of my own efforts have not been enough.