I laid me down upon a bank
Where love lay sleeping
I heard among the rushes dank
Then I went to the heath and the wild,
To the thistles and thorns of the waste,
And they told me how they were beguiled,
Driven out, and compelled to be chaste.
– William Blake
The topics within this collection speak not only to the world as it is – the solvent rather than the salve for an ‘apophatic’ consciousness, one that is in denial about the state of things – but also to the absence of the human heart’s compassionate translation of the call of conscience.
If I were Whitman, I’d write my own review of it, which might read something like this: “Finally, a Canadian critical thinker! Should be required reading in every high school. We ignore this candid collection at our collective peril.” But of course I would never do something like that.