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Volume 33, Number 2 (2008)

"Every Sea-Surrounded Hour": The Margin in Maritime Poetry

March 31, 2009


David M. Jordan identifies marginality as an essential aspect of regionalist writing, and sea poetry is the quintessential marginal poetry. Shifts in Canadian Maritime socio-economics reinforce the notion of marginality as a disadvantaged condition fraught with nostalgia, but, as David Creelman suggests, the complexity of Maritime subjectivities is too often denied; the region's negative position can be redemptively reconfigured as a more complex and cautionary ecopoetic that actively opposes consumer culture. Contemporary Maritime poets Deirdre Dwyer, Harry Thurston, Lesley Choyce, and Anne Compton rewrite the old subject of the sea, arriving at new mythologies, fresh indicators of human transience, and a complex understanding of the role of memory in averting ecological catastrophe.