House of Anansi Press

The Caiplie Caves

Written by Karen Solie

Published April 09, 2019 | ISBN 9781487005931
POETRY / Canadian / General

Cover of The Caiplie Caves

Regular price $16.95 CAD

112 pages
Digital Format

Also Available in Print

About this book

The Caiplie Caves

Karen Solie

In the seventh century, on the coast of Fife, Scotland, an Irish missionary named Ethernan withdrew to a cave in order to decide whether to establish a priory on May Island, directly opposite, in the Firth of Forth, or pursue a hermit’s solitude. His decision would have been informed by the realities of war, religious colonization, and ideas of progress, power, and corruption, and complicated by personal interest, grief, confusion, and a faith (religious and secular) under extreme duress. His choice between life as an “active” or a “contemplative” was one between public and private action. Along with the question of what constitutes action, it remains a choice central to political and private life.

Karen Solie’s fifth book of poetry, The Caiplie Caves, attends to transition in times of crisis. Around passages informed by Ethernan’s story are poems that orbit the geographical location of the caves but that range through the ages, addressing violence, power, work, economies, self-delusion, and belief. Indecision and necessity are inseparable companions. As are the prospect of error and regret.

About the Author

Karen Solie

Karen Solie is the author of three collections of poems, including Pigeon, which won the Griffin Poetry Prize, the Pat Lowther Award, and the Trillium Book Award for Poetry. Her poems have been published in North America, the U.K., and Europe. She lives in Toronto.