128 pages, 5 x 8
1 painting
Release Date:01 Apr 2011


Athabasca University Press

Musings is a book of sonnets. Working within the frameworkof a classic poetic form, Jonathan Locke Hart embarks on an extendedmeditation on our rootedness in landscape and in the past. As sonnets,some of the poems are traditional, some innovative. Throughout, Hartdeftly imparts a European poetic flavour to a fundamentally NorthAmerican experience.

The collection opens with a foreword by noted literary scholarGordon Teskey, who reflects on the themes that have marked theevolution of Hart’s poetry. Of Musings, Teskey writes:"These deeply thoughtful poems bring layered historicalconsciousness into the sonnet. They also touch and stir the heartthrough all its levels."

RELATED TOPICS: Literature, Poetry

Jonathan Locke Hart's poetry has appeared inmany prestigious literary journals, and translations of his poems havebeen published in Estonian, French, and Greek. He teaches at theUniversity of Alberta, and his recent books include DreamChina, Dream Salvage, and Dreamwork.

Index of First Lines

A certain happiness exists despite       86

A Romanesque bridge joins one hill      65

All from the stars the shards fell, light condensed     8

And yet the morning light held you, the cuts      47

Another poet scoffed when I said       72

Breath, too, can plummet, magic rougher    14

Daughter, you are more delicate        18

Dusk falls over a land cut and crossed   66

Flint, outcrop, overhang: I made my way    54

For him, there is only one poet: his wife    93

Freezing to death is not an act of love   52

Girders and glass roofs extend at round 77

Her pale hair stumbled in the wood, and he rode    33

How to keep the deep fluster and rush 108

I am not certain: je ne suis pas sûr       56

I have a whole cache I will oneday      62

I have washed too many I have watched    38

If joy could screeve from lung and marrow   23

Impostors shape fictions of marrow and soul 16

In your eyes along the streets can I see 64

It is not as if the sun andI           90

It would be as the wind, but some force     49

It’s not custom to begin with the couplet     40

Just when it seems she will sing deport   45

Keel, mast, sail in wind, sea, sky shake and bend    32

Love is a Stonehenge, virtual to some   100

Made of systems? Love and justice have lost out    74

My heart is even lonelier than my face   80

Nostalgia and utopia, past and future       68

On an outcrop in Central Park, we talk    76

On the brink of simile I faced     98

Our whatever is an asymptote and not   89

Pain like bread breaks and tears, and in France    88

Palm trees came to France in 1864      51

Remember our mothers who bore us     83

Ropes, planks, cups, lines, buckets, tiles, fieldstones   87

Roses are more gorgeous than us: we are as birds    82

Silent devotion at first light, wind       59

So much depends on the glibness of words,      55

So the wind was on your sleeve: you asked me  10

Something rebarbative lives in this life   94

Son, you were allergic to filberts then   17

Taboo in the stem of my skull, the danger    11

The absence of your breath heats my marrow   42

The angles of the moon over, through those trees    41

The aspersion she cast cuts deep: thetimes       15

The barges slip along the Seine, the wind has died    109

The boughs lay withered beyond the brow    1

The cars on the rail line are stacked up 71

The closer to the ground, the morefictional    58

The clouds lie over the land near Avignon    70

The country is not pastoral: it was       67

The cusp of the dark falls on Central Park    13

The dead stars rise over the ridge, the garden 79

The dog beyond the gate barked, as if  22

The embarrassment of words abandonsus    43

The fen stretches out like prairie, thecanals   6

The garden in the ruined abbey brims   4

The Georgian calms the world about, hills slant  102

The hawthorn trembles in rain and ice  44

The hills are burial mounds: the oaks drape   101

The nuclear power plants smoke over the land   69

The renitency of the will opposes all      26

The scree on the beach was lost in your breath 25

The sea scrubs the rock, the clouds on the cape     27

The season of our wooing, a stillness now    84

The shadows of the evening still across 92

The sparrow on the trough is world enough   3

The speculation of music has         103

The tongue is spare: the wind lifts on the dirt road    20

The turquoise water is not faked on a postcard 28

The warehouses, spills, heaps, strews, broken waste 75

The way trains move, poetry moves      61

The white cliffs above Cassis     91

The wind was slapping the water, and the surf   105

The winds rise over the plain outside Paris    35

The windows of the moon have cast      29

The winter of our breath was the blue   9

There was a window on the stars, the cusp   31

There was jazz playing in a room away 34

There were stones there were knives     39

There’s something about a train that islike    97

These eyes, joints, gums ache with an age    95

They married looking out to sea, the west    7

They were quartering us in these streets    30

This harvest is the sap that moves in us 21

This night, like the vanity of death       50

Those catacombs, stacked with skulls and bones    60

Through the threshold the pollen draws, thelight    46

Till we fled Calais these twoterrains      36

Vexation burned when the sun beat on the waves    19

We rose from dust on a day not of our 104

What is not said in the garden     2

What of the furtive thief of love stealing 106

When I was young the world was young: you know   48

When Venus moved her headquarters, she sighed    57

Who would hear me above the surf, the remains     78

Why is it the poplar leaves turn in the sun    73

Window night-frame time of the moon   37

Winter has its verges, not a green snow    81

World, breath, disinherited us,even      85

You don’t have to be Richard the Third    107

You sang, black Madonna, your breasts more perfect   12

You sculch my secret signs, as though I illude 24

You see before you a man more ridiculous    63

You watch the dying light after the star 96

Your arms are not a trope, andhyperbole    53

Your face was the chalk in thesehills      5

Your heart is knapped flint, or is itmine?     99
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