The Principle of Rapid Peering (Paperback)

The Principle of Rapid Peering By Sylvia Legris Cover Image
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 A lyrical guide through Saskatchewan’s Aspen Parkland by a poet whose work is “fizzing with ecological intellect” (Times Literary Supplement).

Self-seeding wind

is a wind of ever-replenishing breath.

        —from “The Walk, or The Principle of Rapid Peering” 

The title of Sylvia Legris’ melopoeic collection The Principle of Rapid Peering comes from a phrase the nineteenth-century ornithologist and field biologist Joseph Grinnell used to describe the feeding behavior of certain birds. Rather than waiting passively for food to approach them, these birds live in a continuous mode of “rapid peering.” Legris explores this rich theme of active observation through a spray of poems that together form a kind of almanac or naturalist’s notebook in verse. Here is “where nature converges with words,” as the poet walks through prairie habitats near her home in Saskatchewan, through lawless chronologies and mellifluous strophes of strobili and solstice. Moths appear frequently, as do birds and plants and larvae, all meticulously observed and documented with an oblique sense of the pandemic marking the seasons. Elements of weather, ornithology, entomology, and anatomy feed her condensed, inflective lines, making the heart bloom and the intellect dance.

About the Author

Sylvia Legris was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her collection Garden Physic was chosen as one of the Best Poetry Books of the Year by The (London) Times and CBC/Radio-Canada. Her other poetry collections include The Hideous Hidden, Pneumatic Antiphonal, and Nerve Squall, winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Pat Lowther Award. She lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Praise For…

For Legris, nature is the all-inclusive subject, its circumference encompassing the flawed temporalities and fabricated vision of consciousness itself. The precision is clotted, scientific, Latinate, lovely… Best when compressed and apparently impersonal, Legris seeks not the detailing of her own particulars—no exigent family members, bad sex, or failed love here—but a comprehensive understanding of how the world assembles itself through the evolved perspectives of biological entities, like the bird who remains planted in place, allowing prey to come to it, or the creature of the title, who peers rapidly on the wing.
— David Woo - Lit Hub

Product Details
ISBN: 9780811237642
ISBN-10: 0811237648
Publisher: New Directions
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2024
Language: English