Annal: 2001 Walt Whitman Award

Results of the Walt Whitman Award in the year 2001.

Book:The Invisible World

The Invisible World: Poems

John Canaday

With “the clarity / of a landscape made of single / grains of sand,” the poems in John Canaday’s The Invisible World invite readers on a journey through an exotic land, as the narrator travels for more than a year in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan before returning home to New England. Swept along by poetry alive to paradox, we encounter a world in which the Bible and the Qur’an, Eastern and Western traditions, ancient and modern artifacts, mystical and scientific attitudes, meet on equal footing, where a tape recorder perched on a minaret broadcasts the prerecorded cry of a muezzin calling the faithful to prayer.

In these poems, the exotic includes not only a world of Bedouin and camels, djinn and ghouls, but also the internal territory of the narrator himself, who alternately feels “like an ambassador of sorts, / albeit penned in tourist class” and a “ post-imperial naïf / in metaphorical Bermuda shorts.” Canaday offers here a complex meditation on the inner and outer nature…[more]

Views: 584 • Modified: • Elapsed: 0.018 sec