In Praise of Aislinn Hunter’s “Linger, Still”

Earlier this year, Gaspereau Press, a small press in Kentville, Nova Scotia devoted to exquisite bookmaking, released Linger, StillAislinn Hunter’s most recent poetry collection.  (Aside from the wonderful writing, I think it’s great that a brilliant writer from Vancouver is published by one of the country’s highest caliber presses, all the way on the opposite coast.)

Hunter has penned many riveting pieces in this volume, which I highly recommend. Here’s one of her standouts for me:

Esk, Part V.

The starry heads of the woodruff

are saying No to the wind,

 

though they might also be nodding along

to the song of their own great ideas.

 

Still, today it feels like

the clock of the world,

 

its ticking heart,

is less fired-up than usual.

 

The talk last night was of violence,

and the right to be offended.

 

Tonight I’ll aim for lightness

and fail —

 

forget the names

of the field flowers,

 

say the wrong things at dinner,

ghost past the dusky mirror.

 

I’ll try to talk about the girl I met

at a workshop in London,

 

the one whose brother

mounted neon signs

 

on the outside walls

of cemeteries —

 

YOU ARE STILL ALIVE one said,

in a pulsing red fluorescence.

 

YOU ARE STILL

ALIVE.

           ~ Aislinn Hunter

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