The Material Sublime


The Material Sublime

By Carleton Wilson

Nightwood Editions
5.5 x 8 - 80 pages
Paperback - $18.95
October 2011

"Everywhere in Wilson's verse, mastery carries thought and emotion quietly into the heart."
-- A.F. Moritz, from Introductions: Poets Present Poets

The title of Carleton Wilson's debut poetry book, The Material Sublime, contains an apparent contradiction that is central to the collection's aim--to investigate how the intangible, spiritual sphere of existence is connected with the material world of nature and human society. With finely honed, immaculate craftsmanship and an extraordinary ability to observe and interpret minute details, Wilson brings to light the essential truth captured in this paradox.

Opening and closing the book with sequences based on The Junction district of Toronto where Wilson lives, he instills the collection with a sense of place and stillness, grounding other poems ranging across space and time, subject and form--including musings on the magic of the natural world, childhood recollections, references to Bob Dylan's music and Hard Core Logo, and a series of romantically themed poems.

The considerable challenge Wilson undertakes in this collection is perfectly suited to his poetic abilities--to articulate the nearly inexpressible meanings imbued in the most subtle, fleeting moments, and to do so with simplicity and elegance.