Orphic Politics

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
A new collection by the winner of the Governor General’s Award for Poetry.

Tim Lilburn’s award-winning work has observed the natural world with an intensity of seeing and a reverence that shifts the way we understand our lives. Now, in his brilliant new collection of poems, Lilburn has turned his meticulous, unerring eye to an intimate, utterly compelling exploration of the body’s fall into illness. These haunting poems take the reader below the surface of things into a peculiar world of personal and social alteration. Its incantatory insistence and its shocking imagistic leaps make the poetry a sustained act of therapy, a ritual instrument for change.



Someone wearing a vest of radon implants
coaxed my tongue to be sweetly laid out in a kurgan of rain.
This is the rain’s nest, he said, where you will be joined
by the skin of a galloping horse held up by sticks.
Just then God’s mouth filled with lead.
People at that time...
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“Striking and original. . . . [Lilburn captures] the mystical and ecstatic moments when self and world are united.” — Booklist

“At its best, this is avant-garde lyricism the haunting utterances of which would make Rilke shiver, and so should be welcomed.”
- Globe and Mail