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A Short History of Forgetting

Paul Tyler (Gaspereau Press)

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Ottawa-based poet Paul Tyler slows down the process of memory (recognizing, naming, remembering, renaming). He reminds readers that to remember is a shared experience, a part of being, and not just a process, a doing. It feels like a slow poetry, an equivalent of what’s happened in food, for example. On the downside, the reader gets impatient waiting to taste the essence. On the upside, Tyler saturates the page with sensory detail (example: “Pigeon Feather” from the section Urban Night Longing). The flavours are strongest and most satisfying when people (the poet/speaker and the elderly residents in his care in the section called Home) are made clearly present.

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