• Good Morning Poems

Good Morning Poems


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978-1-77439-065-8 | 2023 April | 106 Pages


Canadian literary legend George Bowering lays bare his process as reader and lover of poetry in this curated collection of poems to be read in the morning.

In a series of deeply astute and conversational essays, two-time Governor General’s Award winner and inaugural Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada George Bowering travels through five hundred years, give or take, of English-language literature, adding historical, political, feminist, socio-economic, anecdotal, and literary context to each poem and poet. His selection of poems ranges from the best known to the barely known, each piece treated with depth and reverence, while demonstrating his razor-sharp wit and skill as writer, critic, and reader.

Recalling the work of George Saunders and Sina Queyras, in their interactions with established literature, George’s insight in the poetic mind is invaluable, making this a must-read.

“Bowering the reader of poems returns us to a place of wonder and mystery—with no irritable reaching after fact and reason—as though every poem is the first poem ever read—a cypher, a delight, a breathing of new life into the world. More than a mere anthology of favourite poems, or a retired professors final words on the greats, Bowering here gives us a slice of daily life where the living has been in through and with poems that have been intimate and steadfast companions for decades. The attention is exquisite.”
— Stephen Collis, author of A History of the Theory of Rain

“What a great way to start the day. Good morning, poetry. Bowering torques Gertrude Stein’s note on “History teaches” to “Let me recite what poetry teaches. Poetry teaches”. The familiarity of the poems themselves is a treat but to revisit them alongside an intelligent poetic and critical skill is like getting a croissant with your coffee. As he has lived in writing for most of his life, Bowering inhabits the English poetic canon with great care and attention. Thankfully his pleasure of the poem embellishes our own so that the music of words sets the day ahead full of imagination.”
— Fred Wah, award-winning author of Music at the Heart of Thinking and Faking It: Poetics & Hybridity

“George Bowering’s title Good Morning Poems, can be variously read  – as a greeting to historic poems, as poems from centuries-ago mornings that are “good,” and as poems that welcome you to today. These seem to be poems which have been welcoming Bowering for quite a while, from “Back in the mists of time when I was a university English student.” Yet overall his selections and one-page commentaries approach current expectations for race and gender diversity – one of numerous surprises he can find for us in these still welcoming lyrics.” 
— Frank Davey, award-winning author of Poems Suitable to Current Material Conditions, and aka bpNichol: a preliminary biography

“I am not a morning person. I am, though, a George Bowering person -- and this neat little book gives readers access not only to Bowering the writer, but to George the mentor, teacher, and language-drunk friend, dizzy with all the possibilities of words, phrases, sentences, images, allusions, metaphors, assonances, and rhymes. Here he is in all of his infectious enthusiasm for some of the finest poetry ever written in English. I can’t imagine a better guide.”
— Charles Demers, author of Property Values

“Bowering's enthusiasm is infectious.” (full review)
— rob mclennan

Good Morning Poems delights, inspires, and educates the reader who not only enjoys reading poetry but also wants to learn more about its form and what makes a poem outstanding.”
— Diana Stevan, The Miramichi Reader (full review)

Good Morning Poems delivers splendidly on the promise of its title. For those of us enamoured of the tradition, each of the poems, accompanied by Bowering’s opening remarks can easily keep us thinking and musing for the entire rest of the day.”
— Karl Siegler, The British Columbia Review (full review)