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Inheritance by Erin Mouré

O Resplandor by Erin Moure Cover


by Erin Mouré

Father my father died of dying
undied himself from my mother
even from me his daughter, he unlocked his shoulder-case
and self-undied.

My father died snowing
or not even snowing yet, unsuspecting the place
where his lungs existed.

He got up and said
“it appears to be snowing,” lucent with orchids you can
hardly see.

From that height he saw snow and
i saw his chair empty, his big chair, up above
it was empty,
the chair he always wore.

Even when he was smaller, he wore it,
even when he still knew his mother, he wore it
he wore and wore the chair
he had climbed up into it when his father had died and he wore it

and this
and that
and orchids.

And my son came home astonished
or tired,
and climbed into the chair, and sighed.

Here is inventive new poetry from one of our most original and admired poets: Erin Mouré, two-time winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry, winner of the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, and a finalist for the prestigious Griffin Poetry Prize.

Mouré’s brilliant collection explores the idea that the act of reading contains all the experiences of the body itself: love, splendour, travel, doubling, loss. The “resplandor” of the title refers to the radiance of the body when the language of the book flows into ears and eyes. In unexpected ways — through impossible translation, anachronistic journeys, and a fictional mystery that involves a search for a translator who exists only in the future beyond the book itself – O Resplandor confounds notions of authorship and translation, all while conveying the clamour over love and loss. Richly challenging and charged with Erin Mouré’s distinctive energy, O Resplandor is a work about the powerful light contained in the human body, in translation, and in poetry – even as it shows how these are all one and the same in the end: inventions.

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