The Kindness Colder Than the Elements
172 pages, 5 x 8 1/2
Release Date:01 Sep 2011

The Kindness Colder Than the Elements

Athabasca University Press

Under the sop to Cerberus

The calculating brain calculated his death


His labour

Went over the moon

Just like the moron cow


His milk was the kindness

Higher but colder than the elements.


With wit and cunning, Noble’s poems insinuate themselves into the mediations of “we use language” / “language uses us,” into the objectification of “mind,” into the struggles and cracking of systems. Cuing on Hegel’s epochal revitalization of the syllogism, they begin with sentences-cum-arguments that issue from an everyman's intentions and insights, playing into and baiting the “sociality of reason.” In the cut-up sentences then come the restless, accelerated themes—themes that exist only in their variations, ghosting into one another like the dusk and the dawn in a winging, distended now.

RELATED TOPICS: Literature, Poetry
Noble shifts from low to high, demotic to intellectual, with ease, bringing to bear a wide ranging knowledge of history, myth, sociology, and politics. Pushing against conventions, especially those associated with traditional lyric stance and speech, this highly allusive piece of writing is full of simple and complex puns. As I read, I wanted to know more to follow the peregrinations of this interesting mind in action. Doug Barbour
These are poems that play with and in language, take pleasure in the sounds of words, poems that are propelled by puns. Yet even with this priority of sound and language, there are tender moments when the language does more than delight in itself, as though it has stumbled across lyric meaning accidentally. Jay Gamble
Poet, philosopher, and family farmer, Charles Noble divides his time between Banff and Nobleford, Alberta. His most recent books are Sally O: Selected Poems and Manifesto (Thistledown press, 2009) and Death Drive Through Gaia Paris (University of Calgary Press, 2007). He won the Writers Guild of Alberta poetry award for his collection Wormwood, Vermouth, Warphistory (Thistledown Press, 1995).
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