Written by Dennis Lee
Publication Date April 01, 2003
It is hard to think of another book like Un. Reading it is like bouncing on a moral, intellectual, and linguistic trampoline.This astonishing sequence begins with a countdown that takes us not to zero, but to un. Lee is surveying the catastrophic new reality we have made of our planet. But pushing way past the mimetic, he plunges into language itself with shovel and pick-axe, digging up free-standing prefixes, syllables, roots, in a struggle to articulate what we can scarcely bear to think.
This untology is at once a lament for our squandered earth, a wake-up call, a dramatic poetic departure, and a song of despair, streaked with craggy hope. Lee's exploration turns play into prayer -- perhaps the only kind of prayer the contemporary world permits.
Dennis Lee is the author of more than twenty books, including Civil Elegies, which won the Governor General's Literary Award, and Alligator Pie, the children's classic. Among many other honours, he was Toronto's first poet laureate from 2001 to 2004.