Cosmologies

Shortlisted for the 2003 Griffin Award for Excellence in Poetry, Cosmologies is a careful distillation of Canadian poet P.K. Page’s critically acclaimed two-volume Hidden Room, and it is the first of her collections to be published in the United States. Page’s socially conscious work focuses on our planet and on the beauty of existence. Anchored by a masterful use of metaphor, her poems quote knowingly from Eliot, Thomas, and Robert Graves. As editor Eric Ormsby says in his foreword, this “supreme escape artist of [Canadian] literature . . . is the shrewdest of observers . . . a citizen not only of the world but of the earth.”

“Elegant, rigorous, fresh, P.K. Page’s work sings with a voice of independent character and maenad conjecture. It is a creature that lives on its own terms and terrain. It is startling, authoritative, and anti-sentimental, able to bear cool as well as passionate gazing at our own species. Her poems are always thinking – each line is thinking, while its six senses remain impeccably alert. Her poems live by wit, wisdom, sass, suspense and a muscular lissome synapse and diction. They are daring in scope, meticulous in accomplishment, and boldly moral – with a lovely flavour of amoral verve! We fall under the charm of her reasoning, of her fecund, fastidious imagination, of her many musics, and of her necessariness to us, her essentialness.” – Griffin Prize, Judge’s Citation

PICKING DAFFODILS
They have spilled their slippery juices over me
let fall saliva from their long green stems
Their viscous threads of water swing into my house
remind me of the waters of your mouth

copyright © P.K. Page, 2002
from Cosmologies

Patricia Kathleen “P. K.” Page was best known as a Canadian poet, though the citation as she was inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada reads “poet, novelist, script writer, playwright, essayist, journalist, librettist, teacher and artist.” She was the author of more than thirty published books that include poetry, fiction, travel diaries, essays, children’s books, and an autobiography.

As a visual artist, she exhibited her work as P.K. Irwin at a number of venues in Canada and abroad. Her works are in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario.

By special resolution of the United Nations, in 2001 Page’s poem “Planet Earth” was read simultaneously in New York, the Antarctic, and the South Pacific to celebrate the International Year of Dialogue Among Civilizations.