The Song Collides takes the reader on a highly personal and internal metaphysical investigation into the state of the natural world—and then back via more lyrical and local enquiries that speak to each and every one of us. Life as an exchange: each of us takes in the world and then expresses it for ourselves and for others. This is a simultaneous and nearly imperceptible process that lasts, we hope, at least until the exit.
Calvin Wharton’s poems in The Song Collides pulse and soar with the sounds of beautiful music. Whether a specific one of The Song Collides’ lyrics, prose poems, sonnets, or elegies mentions music or not, Wharton’s mastery of his art never fails to bring his words to resonant life in the ear and mind. He is a connoisseur of precise details that, transformed through his attention to the musicality of language, ring within the reader’s memory like a favourite tune.
—Tom Wayman, author of High Speed Through Shoaling Water
Here is a poetry of gentle surprises, of the enjoyment of “salt air, sweet water / qualities that feed days / and grow into years,” of ironies that enrich, “every answer lost in the question following.” And even when we are reminded of everyday “skimpy wishes,” how good to read these nuances so carefully shaped for our pleasure, each reminding us to “begin wherever you are, / but first look around.”
—David Zieroth, The Fly in Autumn
Calvin Wharton is the Chair of Creative Writing at Douglas College in New Westminster, BC, and edited Event from 1996–2001. He co-edited the poetry anthology, East of Main, with Tom Wayman, and has published a chapbook of poems, Visualized Chemistry; the non-fiction Rowing, with Silken Laumann; and a collection of short stories, Three Songs by Hank Williams. Aside from teaching, he has managed a variety of jobs: sand-blaster, gardener, sawmill worker, and ranch hand, among others.