Notes on Leaving


Notes on Leaving

By Laisha Rosnau

Nightwood Editions
5.25 x 7.5 - 85 pages
Paperback - $15.95
March 2004

A stunning poetry follow-up to Laisha Rosnau's novel The Sudden Weight of Snow.

Winner of the 2005 Acorn-Plantos People's Poetry Prize

Notes on Leaving is a debut poetry collection that is every bit as captivating, emotive and razor-sharp as Laisha Rosnau’s bestselling first novel The Sudden Weight of Snow. Rosnau’s poignant poems address life in a startlingly direct and honest voice, employing a robust combination of jaw-dropping forthrightness and delicately crafted verse.

The language of Notes on Leaving is brusque, bright and instinctively fluid: lines and words flow and merge as naturally as they collide head-on. In the world-weary persona of someone who has always found herself on the run (“my mind was farther away than farm and field. . . ”), and “prone to breakdowns/ of all kinds,” Rosnau energetically conveys sexually charged and angst-ridden desires to urgently abandon a small-town upbringing, among various other lives and identities. She convincingly presents these primal urges as strikingly and sensuously familiar to us all, “tracing a route down your torso, thrumming south,/ the highway swelling with each town, until/ you round the last curve, a crescendo, and cross/ the river to a place where the city meets itself.” Cutting through time zones that encompass the rural and urban, the remembered and the forgotten, Rosnau reminds us to “Pay attention to your surroundings,” to “watch for potential road-kill,” and to “compare scars” along the way.