I saw my first rhubarb shoot pushing its way through the gravel at the front of our Wolseley backyard parking pad this morning. I enjoy more sunlight, fewer clothes, geese heading north, and family meals in our porch.
This issue of Rhubarb has been a long time coming, but you’ll see it’s worth it. “Mennonite New Music” looks at the groundbreaking work of new music composers, from Randoph Peters’s operatic works to songwriters and performers in the band Royal Canoe. All good. MORE>
Victor Enns, Afghanistan Confessions (Regina, SK: Hagios Press, 2014). Paperback, 176 pages, $17.95.
This book contains poems about Canada’s involvement in the war in Afghanistan. Beginning in 2002 and ending in 2014, Canada’s military mission to that country was controversial and dangerous. Victor Enns examines this war from the perspective of the soldier—four fictional soldiers, in fact—on the ground and in gritty detail. The book is divided up into sections representing the voice of each soldier, with the exception of the last section, which is named after a soldier’s wife. There’s “Albert,” “Jimmy,” “Sergeant Willis,” and “Jolene.” Each section poetically explores the notion of warfare primarily from the perspective of the male, drawing from the classical tradition in contemporary verse form. Take for example, the opening poem to the book, titled “disembarking Hercules”:
When my husband and I began making preparations to hike two thousand one hundred and eighty-nine miles from Georgia to Maine on the Appalachian Trail, the most common question we encountered was “Why?”
We heard this question every day from the time we announced we would be hiking until the day we left. People’s sentiments could be summed up by a baffled high school student of mine who commented, “Miss, you know you can, like, drive a car there, right? You crazy.”