from Clasp

by Sandra Ridley

copyright ©2016 by Sandra Ridley

Sleep is for the weak.
I collected the reasons against it, which were in every body’s mouth. I marked them down, with, I think, some additions. (You may or may not remember.)

I feign now pleasure—sleep in splendour—notwithstanding
the sadness of the subject.

(Please read the letter.)

A fool could read the signs.

Notes on the Poem

With this excerpt from Sandra Ridley's Silvija, we rather wistfully conclude our Poem of the Week spotlight on the seven collections - three Canadian, four international - gracing the 2017 Griffin Poetry Prize shortlist. In just a few words, Ridley accomplishes a lot. As the 2017 judges observed of her work, "Words are given the space they need to root and branch." Some of the most robust rooting and branching occurs when grafting is employed. Not to get too horticultural or anything, but Ridley has tended her garden beautifully with selections from this fine source. Plant (oh, how perfect!) contends that his words came to him in his sleep, while Ridley insists: "Sleep is for the weak." While the song and the poem are equally infused with "the sadness of the subject", both are enticing and hypnotic, demanding repeated reading and listening. Dare we say it? They grow on you. We invite you to read the poem again - and again - with this soundtrack:

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