Much like the book’s title, there’s more than one way inside Governor General’s Award–winning Pierre Nepveu’s latest poetic creations, and much goes on within their walls: joyous births, long lives, imagined futures, love, sunlight, wind, and dust. The striking, densely packed, remarkably translated poems of The Four-Doored House deserve time spent with them as they stretch out time across verses, thoughtfully observing loved ones and the self throughout life.
Life-expectancy is a notion halfway between
The law of large numbers and religious faith.
I don’t know if I’m talking to you to surrender to time
Or to stay its course. I roam Sainte-Catherine
As on the nights of my adolescence.
The Four-Doored House Signal Editions
Translated by Donald Winkler
The Four-Doored House
I wake to ants,
Hear far off your hairdryer mooing,
I wonder where you’re going tonight
or if you’re not more philosopher than me,
who thinks there’s wider space within
The book’s second section, “Intervals,” celebrates a different kind of love in a series of interconnected poems to C, the woman with whom Nepveu shares his daily life. Here, relationships are tied to the enduring earth, disrupting his long-crafted image of a self-made landscape – reality under this resonance of love is much more chaotically networked and invigorating. Nepveu shares this renewed vision of his world, reassuringly elemental and flourishing.
There are holes in the landscape, things gone
from the world’s ongoing to which I cling
with my thousand atom fingers and I enter you
dazed by speed, touched by weightlessness.