Monday, December 28, 2015

10) This Orchard Sound - John Terpstra (Fave Poetry of 2015)



This Orchard Sound (Wolsak & Wynn, 2014)

This Orchard Sound comprises a suite of poems pulled from 1997’s The Church Not Made With Hands (Wolsak & Wynn) and rehoused as its own chapbook. Why bother? Well, seeing is believing; featuring photography from the scene of the crime (an orchard that once sat near Guelph Line in Burlington, Ontario) and binding reminiscent of Gaspereau Press, This Orchard Sound is an enviable marriage of presentation and material. 

Of course, none of that luxuriousness would matter if John Terpstra’s message didn’t hold true almost twenty years on. Carefully maneuvering natural landscape and faith, an intersection that has become something of a signature for the recent Hamilton Literary Award winner, This Orchard Sound attempts to come to terms with the loss of innocence — for those trees in front of the bulldozers as well as those of us behind the wheel. 


“Come, see the place. 
                                  Roll away
the parking lot. Uncover earth
beneath the asphalt, and below its surface
find the dried tendrils of uprooted
Bartlett. Bosk. Kiefer. Friends.
It’s finished.

                   And into whose hand
surrenders the spirit of the place? 
For as often as not we eat the foreign fruit
and drink the foreign wine, eating and drinking
the awful irony, that a ripe grove grew
where the car now leaks water from its rad.” 


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