Poetry. OPENING HOURS is the sequel to Todd Swift's 2020 collection SPRING IN NAME ONLY (Eyewear Publishing / Black Springs Press, 2020). The past year has been a time to think of the other, the self, the deadly baton, gun and contagion, the fragile, the toxic—what ends, what endures—the scientific, the mysterious, the numinous, the luminous, death, love, books, friends, brothers, mothers, others, masks, TV, music, food, sleep, walks, cats, fear, hope, and the environment, and how the seasons are more than background for a play, but sometimes the stage itself. These poems, at once freewheeling as song lyrics, but rigorously aware of the modern poets who spoke to the fraught decades of the 30s and 40s, take their bearings from both Dylans, and later Hill, while also essaying longer poems that, like Yeats, seek to locate complex truths in the fusion of rhetorical argument with symbolic, even ecstatic, imagination. The vulgar contemporary world of immediate image debates a more interior, stoic world, of contemplation, doubt, and renunciation. Souls struggle, but somehow, prove their existence in the act of self-questioning. The art of eloquence, polluted by actual fallen language, rebuilds a rickety bridge, outwards, and what matters is the repair, not the uncertain destination. For, this year of closures and openings that barely seem to ever take hold, must celebrate the fragile moment as much as any permanence. Poetry paradoxically becomes a defining aspect of a potentially radical and ever-shifting world, while offering a renewable cornerstone to whatever future civilization might intend to become.
Todd Swift was born in Montreal, Quebec, on Good Friday in 1966. He now lives in London, UK. He most recent work includes OPENING HOURS (Maida Vale Publishing, 2021), SPRING IN NAME ONLY (Eyewear Publishing / Black Springs Press, 2020), THERE'S AN EXCUSE AT THE HEART OF BEING THAT'S WILD (Eyewear Publishing, 2019), and DREAM-BEAUTY-PSYCHO (Eyewear Publishing, 2017).Author City: MONTREAL, QC CAN