The April poems /
Leon Rooke.
Erin, ON : Porcupine's Quill, c2013.
83 p. : ill.
More Details
Erin, ON : Porcupine's Quill, c2013.
local note
Fisher copy: with postcard of cover image laid in.
catalogue key
Purchase; DSO; 2013; RB309198.
A Look Inside
First Chapter

3. April Defined

– What was it that attracted you to April?
– How I was made dizzy through love. How I came to see beauty
in the strangest things. How modern art suddenly made sense. Her
pluck, her prink, her plumelets. Her elegant feet.
– That's it?
– Clothes on the body, then the floor. I was eighty miles away
and saw her naked in bed. She was saying smart things. I licked blue
plates in cheap diners, thinking of her. Knowing that she was smarter
than me. She was an intellectual colossus, big, big, and bigger. Call
her up, you got busy signals, you got guys from Nantucket, Singapore,
the Darwinian Isles. Because of her I could speak the language of wild
dogs. Gypsies jumped from blackberry fields, shouting her name. Bees
sacrificed their own air time to fly with her. Even wasps.
– What was it about you that made her keen?
– She liked digging me out of holes, where insects buried me. I
introduced her to invisible birds which made nests out of her hat bands.
I was a man of action who went out nights in a flying suit, in dyed
underwear, stopping trains that otherwise would crash. I diverted
streams so they'd trickle by our bedroom. I was savvy in the kitchen,
slicing beets. I was a brave son of a bitch in the workplace,
turning hot-headed thugs into limited-edition songbooks, Fords
into schooners on Lake Huron. I enacted legislation making Mother's
Day an extended foray through Greek isles.
– So you're saying your marriage worked out?
– Like the beauty of pure math. What did she say?
– Like juggling bricks in a hurricane

Review Quotes
#145; The April Poems reveals the joy of loving and the grief of losing a "mature damsel" who travelled "with a shotgun under her dress" and boasted "Ideal cleavage too". These poems and prose poems merge elegaic lament and rollicking lyricism to express the transcendent spirit of committed, coupled, household, marital love and the hurtful truth that is at "death do us part". Supremely gifted in his art, Leon Rooke presents April and her husband Sam as exemplars of the casual, comic surrealism of real, everyday, domestic life. In this verse narrative that reads like a Federico Fellini film scripted by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, chuckles catch in the throat like sobs. Zany episodes contrast beautifully with sorrowful reflections: The April Poems underscores the madcap stress and exhuberance of marriage as well as the pitiful and maddening sadness that occurs when one of the couple passes away. It is a superb, poignant, and memorably humorous work, where April can declare her desire "to go at love / Like we were tractors clearing a road."#146;
#145;Leon Rooke has long been recognized as a great fiction writer, a master of the short story, a prestidigitator of tone, drama and humour. Fortunately, he brings these gifts to bear in his poetry, as well. As poet, Rooke is an outsider in the best sense a mad scientist, a breeder of wily hybrids immune to trends. In Rooke's lines, there are shades of Pinter, Pasternak and Baudelaire. Read this book carefully, for it contains poems that can show us how to lose ourselves, and to recognize love, in any age.#146;
'Rooke takes the everyday happenings of a domestic relationship and makes them wonderful, not by elevating or magnifying them, but by insisting on them just as they are -- squalid and splendid, banal and profound, playful and earnest'
#145;To lose the one we love, through illness how can we bear this? We can't and we must. This is the wilderness, the wildness, of these poems; grief scours us and sorts through us; incomprehension and painful seeing. Few books are as brave as this one, with its "black hope". Leon Rooke has always been language-mad for the world, in all its complicated grace. This book thrashes against loss and, in doing so, names a deep tenderness.#146;
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Main Description
Leon Rooke's latest collection of poems concerns itself with an irrepressible heroine, adopting a variety of distinctive perspectives on her life, her loves and her losses.
Table of Contents
April's Fatherp. 11
April's Townp. 12
April Definedp. 13
April's Diaryp. 14
April in Haitip. 15
April Lostp. 16
April's 'Quoth the Raven'p. 17
Not with That Attitude, Missp. 18
April's Petsp. 19
April's Continuation of the James Tate Poem 'Lewis and Clark Overheard in Conversation'p. 20
April's Note on Her Repeated Continuation of the James Tate Poemsp. 21
April's Hundred-Yard Runp. 22
April's Soulp. 23
April's Narrow Escape: The Early Yearsp. 25
Foundp. 26
Found (Two)p. 27
Island Womanp. 28
April and Henry Jamesp. 31
April's Fashion Statementp. 33
Utter Calmp. 36
April's Park Avenue Hatsp. 37
Her Crossword Warsp. 39
Another Narrow Missp. 40
Back to the Future: Is It All Folly?p. 42
Fragments Not from the Rose Roomp. 43
Just to Be Clear About April's Politicsp. 46
April and Haroldp. 47
April Down Southp. 49
Like Tractors Clearing a Roadp. 51
April's Mattress Poemsp. 52
My Personal Storyp. 53
April's Great Google Dealp. 54
April's Bad Husband Dayp. 55
April Dressed to Kill (Sam)p. 56
April's Flingp. 59
April: A True Love Melodyp. 61
My Bride (Revisited)p. 62
What We May Learn from Dr. Phil About Becoming a Good Husbandp. 63
April's (Bobby Darin) Songp. 66
Lunch with Aprilp. 67
April Makes Her Standp. 69
April's 'No Frills' Poemp. 70
April and the Bad Beesp. 71
April's Clunker Carp. 72
On the Ropesp. 73
April Contemplates God
God Wakes Todayp. 74
God's Snitp. 75
God's Haircutp. 76
God Is Not In Todayp. 78
Come On, Lamented April: Be Happyp. 79
April's Deep Remorsep. 80
April Affirms She Married Wellp. 81
Thou Beside Me Singingp. 82
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem