Karen Houle, |
(Gaspereau Press, 2008)
Karen Houle is a philosophy professor at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. During, her second collection of poetry, is a philosopher's book. It explores ideas, particularly those of continuity, of -- as the press release says -- being in process and of seeing through.
The book is divided into four parts: during, duration, endure and durable -- a breakdown that suggests an inner journey and, indeed, During is a book that is nothing if not internally oriented.
The true philosopher's occupation consists precisely in the
Each of us is one and is replaced
You can see that Karen Houle does not believe in a simple surface. She expects readers to bring their minds and abilities to think critically and creatively to the table. She writes mostly in short lines and short stanzas, so both her text and her meanings are tightly compressed and are capable of leaping into surrealism:
Inbound, out of the train window,
You can see that her images are fresh, her connections mainly implied and that, if she makes demands on her readers, she offers a lot in return. Ready slowly, attentively, with a little reflection on each poem, and Karen Houle will reward you.
Michael Scott Cain
2 August 2008
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