The Birdhouse, Or inhabits a rich terrain of laughter and wisdom. By turns serious and playful, irreverent and tough-minded, the poems in this collection combine plain-speaking eloquence and a sparkling linguistic energy.The title poem is a ten-part sequence about a father building a birdhouse with his sons. It ranges from quiet meditation on the nature of love and fatherhood, in which domestic events are given a precise and gentle beauty, to digressions both hilarious and harrowing. Other poems are by turns elegiac and rooted in a vivid now, with an intelligent but bumbling persona trying to make sense of life in the tradition of Al Purdy or Alden Nowlan. Two poem sequences offer complex and resonant explorations of desire in language, including the final long poem, Sonny Speaks to Me From Beyond Grave, a dazzling and dizzying tour de force in which the spirit of Sonny Bono muses on human mortality in words uncannily reminiscent of the philosophy of Jacques Derrida.
Jamie Dopp has published a novel, Prospects Unknown (Ekstasis Editions, 2000), as well as a book of poems, On the Other Hand. The Birdhouse, Or is his second book of poems. Originally from Waterloo, Ontario, Jamie Dopp now lives with his family in Victoria, B. C., where he teaches Canadian Literature at the University of Victoria.
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