The Green Archetypal Field of Poetry:
on poetry, poets, and psyche
The Green Archetypal Field of Poetry: on poetry, poets, and psyche gathers a selection of essays and short statements on poetry by Stephen Morrissey. While best known as a poet, Morrissey’s critical writing is an important part of his literary work. In this book he writes on the legacy of Canadian poets who helped bring modernism to Canadian poetry. Morrissey’s approach to poetics reminds us of the enduring importance of Beat, Romantic, and shamanic poetics. Morrissey suggests that poems originate in what he calls the green archetypal field of poetry. This is Stephen Morrissey’s second volume on poetry and poetics, after The Poet’s Journey: on poetry and what it means to be a poet.
For close to fifty years, Stephen Morrissey has been reminding me that poetry is a calling, that it is essential to human psychic health, and that it is the air we need to breathe. He is certainly one of the most interesting “thinkers” in our generation, and one of our most consequential poets. His latest book, The Green Archetypal Field of Poetry, is a must-read.
Here is a book for any reader who may have doubts about the growing relevance of poetry and the need for poetry in our lives. Reading Morrissey’s thoughts on why and how he became a poet in his home city of Montreal, eventually writing his way into Canadian literature as one of the very best poets of his generation—Morrissey is a most convincing literary guide, as this delightful and fascinating book will clearly reveal.
Stephen Morrissey wanders herein the Green Archetypal Fields—the Elysian Fields—of the Poetry that the Poet has conjured. He is Yeatsian here, looking back at Fellow Travellers in the Art, recalling Allen Ginsberg preaching, “scribble down your nakedness,” re-reading Jack Keats and Jack Kerouac, reminiscing about Montreal mentors and comrades—Louis Dudek, Irving Layton, F.R. Scott, and A.M. Klein, and the Véhicule Poets. And what is the end of all the musing? Poetry. Impeccable Poetry.
Stephen Morrissey was born in Montreal, Canada. Morrissey graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree, Honours in English with Distinction, from Sir George Williams University (now Concordia University) in 1973. In 1976 he graduated with a Master of Arts degree in English Literature from McGill University. Morrissey won the Peterson Poetry Award while at McGill. In the mid-1970s Morrissey was a member of the Véhicule Poets, a group of poets who organized readings at Véhicule Art Gallery and helped bring a rebirth of innovative and contemporary poetry to Montreal. Stephen Morrissey taught English literature at Champlain Regional College from 1976 to 2011.