The Cold Panes of Surfaces
by Chris Banks
“[Banks’ work] manages to combine humour and breathlessness in a way that Canadian poetry seldom does.”
—Emily Schultz, Broken Pencil
Book DescriptionThe Cold Panes of Surfaces is the moving second collection of poems from award-winning author Chris Banks.
Rooted in the pastoral tradition of Wordsworth, Frost and Wallace Stevens, The Cold Panes of Surfaces describes the Southern Ontario landscape of trains, lakes, moose and pine with unflinchingly sharp image and metaphor. In so doing, he brings to it a distinctly modern edge, meditating on “the rent we are paying to the planet for our waning lives.” Here, beetles become “child kamikazes... a wallpaper of yellow-winged flames” and the planet is a “Museum of Natural Beauty.”
Banks takes imaginative leaps into the worlds of a magician’s assistant, a fifteenth-century Japanese poet, and the Muse. Most of all, these poems eloquently describe childhood, loss in all its forms, the vagaries of relationships, and being “a sullen young man / caught in the world’s fist.”
The Cold Panes of Surfaces is a remarkable collection, and a fitting follow-up to Banks’ award-winning first book Bonfires.