Crabwise to the Hounds
With cameos by jackalopes, Glenn Gould, homemade spaceships, and Carl Linnaeus, these poems are astonishing for their technical agility and their restless inventiveness. There's an elegance here that matches Dodds' impulse to challenge the reader with fresh metaphor and astonishing phrasing; the formal ambitions of many of the poems in Crabwise to the Hounds are balanced by an inclination towards wordplay and a bright musicality. Humorous at times, yet always handled with consummate craft, these poems invoke historical figures like Hiram Bingham and Ho Chi Minh even as they traverse a poetic landscape that includes telephone-game-style translations, interpretive dance poems on historic paintings and carnivalesque jaunts into a natural world overrun with mules, Alsatians, lions, and motorcycle-sized-deer.
"Strange, densely layered, ruthless and funny by turns, these poems...force us to go slow at their sudden ingrown turns. They are full of creature music surprises."--The CBC Literary Awards Jury