Paper Wings

Published by Guernica Editions.

Paper Wings is a collection of poems, seen through the lens of history, geography, familial loss and celebration. Whether travelling by icebreaker, kayak, or on foot, or weaving memory into new landscapes of the heart, these poems incline to the marvellous and metaphysical. Each asks in different ways the question: “Where is home?” The conclusion: Home is found within ourselves and without, anywhere, anytime.

Paper Wings falls into five parts.

CUTTING TRAILS recalls a quartet of solo summers on the Bruce Peninsula where I discovered how to put down new roots away from home.

PAPER WINGS re-invents a long dead father through his WW1 pilot log from 1914 – 1916.

THE EYE’S IMPRINT speaks to the landscapes of imagination, of home and away, of broken connections through death, and of travel.

LEARNING WALKING recounts tales of rafting and kayaking in Yukon Territories and in the High Arctic. Rosemary Clewes travels on the cusp of her own frontiers where assured outcomes are not always a given, and where home and place take on new meaning.

RETREAT explores the experience of an eight, day silent retreat, in 2008.

For my brother, Arthur

In the dawn the pilot flies inside a priceless sky,
his paper wings no thicker than a skin of ice −
mere dot in elemental heaven.
What charm can hold its own
against the events unfolding in that killing dome,
his face tight as a drum with cold?
And while war’s pestle grinds
its creed with canteen monotony on the ground,
he knows he is the hunter and the hunted
for the killing minds of cold calculation.

Who would not be mittened to the idea of his life?

From Blurbs:

Here is a poet utterly taken by the universe, by the created world, natural and human, in all its glory and with all its artefacts, its deep and delicate mysteries. Her lines cut a clean kayak-path through the waves and currents of experience. Her words, with disarming ease and grace, pilot through the skies of the Great War with a father long dead, and perform surprise tangos on the gravel bar of a northern river. These poems are talismans for keeping the ordinary, extraordinary.
~ John Terpstra

Paper Wings is born in the ground of the Bruce Peninsula and then hovers above its landscape like a hawk, surveying rock/shore/tree magic, moving into the imagination, the spirit, other landscapes, all the way to the Yukon and the High Arctic; these poems scatter organically across the page the way that ecology makes its mysterious links in our mind. Using her intense language and the white page in original patterns, Rosemary Clewes, goes beyond what is real or what isn’t real into the poetry of the spirit, the great journey. It’s a book of power and energy and image and rhythm, and prayer and marks her immediately as a poet to watch.
~ Brian Brett

From Reviews:

Rosemary Clewes got my full attention when she Tom Thompsoned into poetry her kayaking experience in Georgian Bay.  Then she turned all eloquent Billy Bishipish and flew me into World World I with her father. These were both excellent maneuvers.

Clewes writes with a thorough clarity that has you instantly involved and invested in her narrative. These narratives travel, visit the arctic, fall in love, age graceful and curious.

~ Michael Dennis

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ISBN 978-1-55071-876-8 (pbk)
ISBN 978-1-55071-877-5 (epub)
ISBN 978-1-55071-878-2 (mobi)