In The Gamekeeper, Michael Harris presents poems of sorrow, sensuality, quirkiness and humour-a grand variety of takes on the mortal landscape.
With sharp wit and unaffected music, Harris handles the human and natural worlds with equal sensitivity. Of an apple tree, for instance, he says, "and the apple tree's victory stays / stiff-necked, full of thrash / in its iron-bare head of black antler." Considering Emily Dickinson in a poem entitled "Death," we are drawn into the protagonist's world with "Weathered billet-doux hang pinned / in the sheen of black crepe // that encloses her looking-glass / like a wreath of wet seaweed."
The Gamekeeper contains a selection of poetry spanning five collections and over four decades, revealing the full range of one of the finest poets of his generation.
Michael Harris's first poetry collection since his Governor General's Award-nominated Circus (2010), The Gamekeeper assembles a thoughtful selection of the Montreal poet's accomplished verse. With evocative imagery and a natural sense of rhythm, Harris writes of illness, pain, marriage, death, imaginary fairy-tale monsters, and much else. The result, according to one reviewer, "straddles a position between the carnivalesque and the sensual."