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Poetry Canadian

Mortal Arguments

by (author) Sue Sinclair

Brick Books
Initial publish date
Oct 2003
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2003
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2003
    List Price

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Mortal Arguments is Sue Sinclair's second poetry collection. In it, she continues her extraordinary phenomenological investigation of lived experience, addressing with increasing urgency issues of profound philosophical and political importance such as consumerism, privilege, and our ability to respond to the suffering of others. Her voice combines great metaphorical brilliance with the depth one expects of a much older writer. Her poems will remind readers by turns of Rilke and Heine: urgent, sorrowing, ecstatic. This is an important book by one of Canada's finest young poets.


Not because it is sufficient, but because
we subsist on light, and what doesn't
cry out to be noticed? There's something here
you might recognize, but you're not sure; still, you're willing
to risk it: the loss of everything, seen and unseen,
the before and the after. It doesn't depend on you
but you move toward it. Because as long as there's a moment
here or there, why not arrange a few roses
in a jar, give thought to their listlessness, how they gather
the room about them yet think nothing of it, how each
thorn persists, how they have made a purpose
of holding still? Then you remember
the necessary and sufficient. This isn't it,
but you don't know where else to begin.

About the author

Sue Sinclair grew up in St. John's, Newfoundland. Her extraordinary poetic powers were first recognized when she won two creative writing awards at University of New Brunswick: the Walker Prize and the Angela Ludvine Memorial Prize. Her first poetry collection, Secrets of Weather & Hope, was a finalist for the 2002 Gerald Lampert Award, and her second, Mortal Arguments, was a finalist for the Atlantic Poetry Prize. Her work appears frequently in magazines such as The Fiddlehead, Canadian Literature, Grain, The New Quarterly, and The Malahat Review, and in anthologies such as Coastlines and Breathing Fire II.

Sue Sinclair's profile page

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