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This review is taken from PN Review 216, Volume 40 Number 4, March - April 2014.

The World Outside and Within daryl hine, A Reliquary and Other Poems (Fitzhenry & Whiteside) $14.95
alistair noon, Earth Records (Nine Arches Press) £8.99

The death of Daryl Hine in August 2012 provided an opportunity for Anglophone audiences to reappraise a poet and editor who had largely sunk from sight, and to reflect on the reasons for this occlusion. Hine, born in British Columbia in 1936, edited Poetry (Chicago) for a decade from 1968, published sixteen books of poetry as well as a novel, plays, and translations from the Classics, and was awarded a MacArthur ‘genius’ grant in 1986. But by his sixties Hine had sworn off publishing houses and was making his new work available online, with an optional donation (years before Radiohead’s In Rainbows). The appearance of his Recollected Poems 1951–2004 in 2009, &: A Serial Poem (a Governor-General’s Literary Award finalist in 2010) and the posthumous A Reliquary and Other Poems, is in large part to the credit of Evan Jones, to whom the last is dedicated.

Hine was not spared the illness and losses that come with age, and he writes of them unsparingly, as in the sestet of ‘Painful Acknowledgement’:

As to the lessons that we learn from pain,
What a repulsive doctrine! What can one learn
From sensations no one can explain?

But his way of facing down the withering of body and spirit is to turn on it a withering humour: the octave of the same poem imagines pain as

A strange neighbour who overnight moved in next door
To occupy the kind of special, dangerous place
That ...


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