Call them prayers or curses. Fictions or true stories. Mary Dalton's new poems are voices caught in print, fashioned from the vigorous idioms and cadences of Newfoundland speech. Readers will, likely for the first time, encounter words like "conkerbells", "drite", "mollyfoostering", "mawmouth" and "elt"-potent words rich with the music of their centuries-old origins.
The Atlantic landscape, its water and weather, is made to play a memorable role in these poems, reflecting the often anarchic vitality of a complex, sea-dependent people. But the true marvel of Merrybegot, Dalton's third book, is the linguistic energy, the "salt accent," of its various speakers.
The title, Merrybegot [a child born outside marriage], aptly suggests this poetry's extraordinary originality. Here is a language, and a community, rendered in all its exuberant and irreverent life.
72 pp 8.5" x 5.5"
CDN $14.00 US & International