|Subject:||Poetry||Publisher:||Harbour Publishing Co. Ltd.|
|Published:||March 14th 2020||Pages:||160|
Watching a Man Break a Dog’s Back explores the question of how to live in a natural landscape that offers beauty while being consumed by industry, and in an economy that offers material benefits while denying dignity, meaning and a voice to many in order to satisfy the outsized appetites of the few.
A cri de coeur from a poet who has long celebrated the voices of working people, the collection also grapples with why “anyone, in this era so profoundly lacking in grace, might want to make poems—or any kind of art.” But the keen sense of justice that drives the collection is tempered by the poet’s reluctance to take himself too seriously: “Centuries without the benefit / of my presence / have to be made up for / by my words.”
The poet brings the perspective of age to our current troubled existence, with the reminder that as a society and as individuals we’ve faced perilous times before, and that our shared mortality links us more than circumstances and politics divide us.