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Earthly Pages

The Poetry of Don Domanski

By Don Domanski
Edited by Brian Bartlett
Subjects Literary Criticism, Canadian Literature, Poetry
Series Laurier Poetry Hide Details
Paperback : 9781554580088, 78 pages, August 2007
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781554582075, 78 pages, April 2011
Ebook (PDF) : 9781554580705, 78 pages, August 2007

Table of contents

Table of Contents for Earthly Pages: The Poetry of Don Domanski, selected with an introduction by Brian Bartlett
Foreward | Neil Besner
Biographical Note
Introduction: The Trees Are Full of Rings | Brian Barlett
The Sacrifice
Sunrise at Sea Level
One for an Apparition
A Netherpoem
Sub Rosa
Snowbound Letter
Visiting the Grandmother
At Daybreak a Hairsbreadth Turns to Blue
Hammerstroke II
Dangerous Words
Looking for a Destination
The Sleepers
Love Poem on the Sabbath
A Perfect Forehead
The Ape of God
The God of Folding
Fata Morgana
Epiphany Under Thunderclouds
Before the Plague and the Breaking of Fingers
Lethean Lock Mnemonic Key
He Leans Homeward
Taking the Train to Fredericton
The Passageway
Walking Away
What the Bestiary Said
Sentient Beings
Sleep’s Ova
Afterword: Flying Over Language | Don Domanski


With The Cape Breton Book of the Dead, Don Domanski emerged as a remarkable new voice in Canadian poetry, combining formal conciseness with broad cosmic allusions, constant surprise with brooding atmospherics, and innovative syntax with delicate phrasings. In subsequent collections, Domanski’s poetry has deepened and expanded, with longer lines and more complex structures that journey into the far reaches of metaphor. Now, with Earthly Pages: The Poetry of Don Domanski, the long-awaited first selection from his books, readers have a chance to experience the full range of his work in one volume.
Editor Brian Bartlett, in his introduction, “The Trees are Full of Rings,”, discusses Domanski’s engagement with nature and the transformative power of his metaphors; his poetic bestiary amd mythical underpinnings; and his kinship to poets like Stevens, Whitman, and Rumi. Like these poets, Domanski is drawn to borderlands between the physical and the spiritual, the unconscious and the conscious. His poetry finds a home for demons and angels, spiders and wolves—and for kitchens and back alleys, forests and stars.
In language both fluent and hypnotic, Domanski maintains an awareness of both the magnitudes and the minutiae that live beyond language. In “Flying Over Language,” an essay written specifically for this volume, the poet explains that for him metaphor is one way to suggest the wealth of being that poetry can only point toward.


Bartlett's selection of poems provides a most helpful introduciton to Domanski. Bartlett's opening essay explores sources and affinities ... without diminishing the poet's originality. Bartlett ... also looks at the range of his work, both the allusiveness and the reach into space (from critters of the forest floor to the stars) and time (back as far as the origins of life).... The volume concludes with a concise, powerful essay by the poet himself, an exploration of his ideas about intuition, about language (`language itself is transient, and the usage we lean so heavily upon is nailed to thin air').... The core of the book is poetry, thirty-six poems that illustrate Domanski's genius, his ability to nail meaning to thin air. The poems introduce us to a universe rich and strange and full of perilous seas, and the metaphors persuade us that it is our own.... Traces of the invisible are everywhere visible in this poet's work, and that is an earned paradox.

- Bert Almon, Canadian Literature, 2008 October