Wild Madder

Wild Madder

by Brenda Leifso

NOOK Book(eBook)

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Poems that stride bravely into the day-to-day, recovering the misdirected intensity at its core. Brenda Leifso’s Wild Madder is about way-finding—through those moments in which you no longer recognize where you are. It’s about not knowing—who you are anymore, how to be in the world, how to love. It’s about what’s unspoken and about what speaks—conversation with the wild and animate world. It’s about marriage, family, motherhood—the drudgery in them and the quiet beauty. This is lyric poetry wracked with pain, rage, and longing. In the beginning, the collection may read as though it’s been steeped in bitterness. Family can ask everything of a partner and parent and then turn around and take even more; Wild Madder feels like a note in a bottle washed up on the shores of a rough sea. But Leifso is not one to stand still or cling to darkness; in fact, we end up so far into the darkness that when she breaks through into light, it’s a conflagration of all the things that make us human. These frank, bracingly recognizable poems will be irresistible—and cathartic—for anyone who has ever felt their life chewing them into little pieces.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781771315074
Publisher: Brick Books
Publication date: 01/04/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Wild Madder is Brenda Leifso’s third book of poetry, following Barren the Fury (Pedlar Press, 2015) and Daughters of Men (Brick Books, 2008), which was shortlisted for an Ottawa Book Award. Her poetry has been published in journals and anthologies across Canada, has won the Banff Centre Bliss Carman Poetry Award, and has been short- and long-listed for the CBC Literary prize. She is a freelance editor and occasional academic instructor, and also runs her own yoga business. She lives, gratefully, near the shores of Lake Ontario in Kingston, Ontario.

Read an Excerpt

3 O'clock, October

Half an hour until the school bus brings the children home.
Water boils in the kettle and the dog ticketyticks into the kitchen. My heart is busy sawing a butterknife across my ribcage in its low-paying afternoon shiftwork of despair while the chickadees gossip in the yard. They pause once in a while to assess and argue the flight risk to the feeder until fuck it
one of them can't help but dive—all the world fluting through her feathers—
for the promise of beak vs. shell,
the satisfying, determinate crack of splitting open.

Table of Contents


It's time I stopped thinking 3

October 4

Each time you come to bed late and wake me 7

Anatomy Lab 8

Anatomy Lab 2: Sensitive Room 9

Three O'clock, October 10

Winter Is Coming 11

November 12

Lullaby 13

Four O'clock, November 14

The lake a calm presence, he said 15

Warm December 16

Three Days before Solstice 17

Nine Ways of Looking at January 18

Snowshoeing 20

I wanted to say something about running along the shore this January morning 21

Snowshoeing, Lake Ontario, February 22

Someone 24

March 23 25

Vernal 26

Hymn to the Frozen Boreal Chorus Frog 27

Windmills, Wolfe Island 28

April 29

Survival 30


Sun 33

June Morning 35

For the Boy Walking in Little Cataraqui 36

Camping, Charleston Lake 37

Nearing Summer Solstice 38

July 39

First July, Then August 40

Jump 43

Anniversary Poem 44

Do you also remember 45

How will I explain 46

Apple Tree 47

September 48

Utility Is Not the Only Purpose 49

Indoor Cat 50

Fall Equinox 51

Christie Lake Road 52

We are out of toilet paper 53

The Difference between Us 54

November 9, 2016 55

Night 57

Argument 59

Early December 60

Last Messages from the Computer Age 61

House Call 67

Study 69

Navigation in Winter 70

Some Hopes for the Afterlife 81

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