The Hour's Acropolis
by John Pass
Shortlisted for the 1993 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize
"...One of the finest poetry books of the year."
-Books in Canada
Book DescriptionThe Hour's Acropolis, John Pass's tenth book of poetry, is a classical meditation rebounding between domesticity and myth. Ben Johnson's Olympic disgrace is counterpoint to poetry's inspirational lightning, Steve Fonyo appears next to Odysseus, Orpheus listens to Lou Reed.
Stylistically, this book is a complex and ingenious construct, a poetic acropolis posing as a "deconstruction" of a one-page introductory thematic motif "poem." A pair of sonnets address each other over the heads of intervening poems. A haiku sequence, acknowledging influences beyond the European, is called upon to perform the very western task of narrating a storm. Pass's virtuosity, his "technical and intellectual brilliance" (Canadian Literature) offer shelter and welcoming affection in love poems like, "Delicious," "Quibble" and "Our Daring."
The poems in The Hour's Acropolis are the work of a mature poet with a range, ability and intelligence rarely seen in contemporary poetry. John Pass is one of a small group of writers who belong to no identifiable school of fashion but who works in a steadfast faith to the shining moments, "the wild light alive in the fibers striving."