Out of the half-wild mystery of rural homesteads and roadside forests in Tanya Standish McIntyre’s poetry emerges another mystery of multi-generational memory curled into her own country childhood – rich with imagination, a thoughtful eye, and her grandfather’s reliably comforting presence. Among the teeming spring-fed culverts and green copses are young people (including her own mother) who grew up and into local marriages, bound to limitations even in these wide-open spaces.
The studied womanly art never meant to be
perfected, of reconciling resignation
with acceptance, linking back
to the distant past, looping around
The House You Were Born In McGill-Queen's University Press
Tanya Standish McIntyre
The House You Were Born In
McGill-Queen's University Press
My grandfather and I talk
……………………about things like this
…………………………………..and worlds and worlds more
while the rest
…………………..go for silly Sunday drives
and think I must be bored.
The worlds of Standish McIntyre’s poems are themselves wide, with plenty of room to move freely, even when they glimpse into regretful pasts and heartbreaking deaths. That sense of liveliness and freedom imparts critical distance and empathy rather than judgment, aligning the natural cycles of life and death with life-altering tragedy and sorrows – everything may pass, but that doesn’t mean it disappears from all memory or the earth.
now, no one remembers it but me and how the perfect
ding-dong of the green front-doorbell
is whorled in a two-note helix with some filament
of my brain, but gone
as though it never was, is the way
you said my name.