NEW HOPE INTERNATIONAL REVIEW

An independent small press poetry review

NHI independent review
GLEN SORESTAD: BLOOD BONE ICE & STONE
Thistledown Press Ltd
633 Main Street
Saskatoon
S7H 0J8
Canada
ISBN 1 894345 97 5


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GLEN SORESTAD: BLOOD BONE ICE & STONE

Glen Sorestad continues his poetic journey, seeking his family roots in Norway, capturing the small epiphanies in nature as he travels, or shaping the memories of those he has met and befriended. Sorestad's poems always reach for the dance of language, delivering a subtle clarity and overwhelming honesty of voice. As J.M.Bridgeman writes

Sorestad honours the ordinary in his poetry ... helps us see the meaning in everyday rituals.
Glen Sorestad has been publishing his work for over thirty years and has five previous collections currently in print. This collection follows the familiar territory of his saga. A journey we are invited to share. We find him excavating his ancestral roots in DREAMING MY GRANDFATHER'S DREAMS:
	In the house of my father's father,
	where this mountain stillness
	tucked round him like a quilt,
	I drift off to sleep,
	Dream ancestral dreams

	...
	In the house of his childhood
	I dream my grandfather's dreams
	And I am a child as well.
Later in KVIKNE IN RAIN:
	I try to imagine my grandfather,
	Ellend Lien, born here amid
	sheep bleat and cattle bawl,
	born beneath the overhang
	of brooding mountains whose names
	I do not know ...

	With each gravestone name I utter,
	I taste the blood of my past;
	...
	In this rain-spattered graveyard
		... I find
	my history carved in stone.
Sorestad is at one with nature in a world inhabited by blue herons, bald eagles, snow geese and magpies; all part of his past and of his future. His world is full of memories. The tension of a Brubeck concert in BRUBECK AT SEVENTY-SIX, where the pianist metamorphoses from
	His slight frame is frail,
	hair turned Artic white.
	His walk is slow, careful
	as if the stage were ice.
	...
	his whole being gathers fire.

	With the first clarion notes,
	jazz is pulsing in the veins,
	fingers flit across the keys.
	Each concert he ever played
	flows in his blood tonight.
In THE SAX MAN too we feel the same strength as:
	The sax man blows out the sun
	and lights up a riff of stars. He rocks
	black spruce to sleep, the night
	awake and the wind to rest.
	...
	The sax man blows the quarter-moon
	Down to waft above his shoulder.
	Wan birches and dark spruce tilt
	To gather his notes like gems.
	The sax man blows stars to dance.
In THE DANCING MAN OF SANTA ELENA, we meet an old man and a young girl dancing across the cantina floor of time.
		the dancing man
	and the little Mexican girl move
	against heat and stillness,
	move to the lilt of their voicesó
	dance through ages,
	dance against time.
and this is the journey Sorestad is taking, he is the poet dancing through ages, in a dance against time.

reviewer: John Cartmel-Crossley