A Gathering Instinct

In her first book, Warland’s poetic strategies are already at work: a pivotal image of the natural world; her use of the extended narrative form of suites; and her reliance on sparseness and space. The opening suite, “This Fear Runs Down Our Bed,” tracks the demise of her marriage. In her suite “Rituals For Parting,” Warland draws us in to the tender tentativeness of being with a dying friend. As she navigates her changing world she writes, “i rub my fingers on your skin/your skin is like the shell of an egg/and I must be careful.” Poet Gwendolyn MacEwan wrote: “Betsy Warland is a bright, upcoming poet whose work has much to offer now and in the future.”

 1981 Williams-Wallace