Pigeon Poem

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Karen Solie was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan on July 6, 1966, and studied at the University of Lethbridge as well as the University of Victoria. She has worked at universities from British Columbia to Scotland, and published five collections of poetry, Short Haul Engine (2001), Modern and Normal (2005), Pigeon (2009), The Living Option (2013) and The Road in is Not the Same Road Out (2015). Her most acclaimed book is Pigeon, which won the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2010. The judge’s citation states that the poems are “as humorous, often, as they are sobering” and the summary on the back of the book describes the poems as “X-rays of our delusions and mistaken perceptions, explorations of violence, bad luck, fate, creeping catastrophe, love…show more content…
The pieces are often strongly grounded in place, but tend to be less about the place than the thoughts and feelings evoked by it, philosophical yet personal. While strong specific imagery is used, pieces are never bound to one place or subject entirely – they move into the non-literal, or to faraway images, and often end up somewhere unexpected. The form is generally fairly conventional, but line and stanza breaks are often used to create a sort of unsteadiness, and the pieces range from long-line and prose poems to short lines, depending on what the piece calls for. The language is lyrical and myriad, ranging from scientific to colloquial to purely poetic, whatever the piece requires. Solie doesn’t shy away from unpleasant fact – there’s a dark undertone to the book, a concern about change, from environmental issues to the fleetingness of life. But her work is never preachy – there’s a philosophical restraint in the use of the personal and the image to keep the poems from ever quite reaching a direct statement, always leaving the reader with the idea that nothing can be understood totally. And there is an ironic humour undercutting it all, keeping this cluster of ideas
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