Marry & Burn
by Rachel Rose
A searing collection of poems on the subjects of love, loss and addiction from award-winning Poet Laureate of Vancouver Rachel Rose.
Winner: Pushcart Prize (2016)
Short-listed: Governor General's Award for Poetry (2016)
Short-listed: Pat Lowther Memorial Award (2016)
The fourth collection from award-winning poet Rachel Rose, Marry & Burn is a journey through a troubled relationship and a troubled city, charting the territory of love and addiction, and the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. Inspired by struggles both personal and global, these are not gentle poems—they probe deep into comforting personal and cultural myths, rending them to pieces even as they expose the beauty in the bright shards that remain.
Although the language of blazing passion resonates throughout the discussion of love, longing and addiction, the driving rhythms often resemble more closely the relentless pounding of the ocean: “The sky’s cauldron / tips a black storm to swarm the harried / hawk, call, Shame! Shame! Dawn has come / in flame.” The golden glow of the ancient world, the dark sweetness of fairy tales, overlay these harsh contemporary moments of rape and addiction, loneliness and poverty, casting them in the richer light of another era.
The pain of letting go, whether of love, old habits or cherished personal myths, permeates the collection. But these poems insist that once the dike has broken, once the myths have crumbled, the possibility emerges of building something new.