What We Carry by Susan Glickman Véhicule Press, 92 pages, $17.95
A keen awareness of mortality underlies the poems in Susan Glickman’s vibrant seventh collection. It’s expressed not as dread but as a bittersweet cherishing of what she holds dear, from memories to music to nature. As the Toronto poet and novelist puts it in one poem, “with more time behind you than ahead,/the world grows larger, pregnant with wonder.” The world’s losses grow larger, too: “Elegies for the 21st Century” is a series of sonnets addressed to various extinct species, including the river otter of Japan “once abundant as reeds in the waters.” These lyric poems have an unassuming grace and clarity, and an eclectic range: Glickman “translates” a number of Chopin’s 24 Preludes, Opus 28, into poems that mirror the mood of the music; elsewhere, she muses wittily on the travails of urban life, such as being “hemmed in … by backpacks and hockey bags,/groceries and gifts” on a crowded streetcar.
-Barb Carey, The Toronto Star, April 6 2019