Disturbances of Progress
If the expression 'Two steps forward, one step back' describes the conventional attitude toward hesitation and uncertainty, Disturbances of Progress takes those steps and turns them into a dance.
In an intimate and intensely personal manner, Lise Downe's third major collection of poetry documents the sorts of interruptions that plague the lives of artists and writers. Yet the poems themselves emerge as testament to the triumphof the artistic process over circumstance.
As the poet mulls over the uncertainty of her own life's trajectory, she deftly weaves together the imagery of searching and the vagaries of language into a whole cloth. Downe's writing uses the qualities of colloquial speech - hesitation, interjection, digression and repetition - to convey the experience of writing as an unforseen progression. Favouring intuitive progress over linear intention, these vivid, painterly poems reflect the dynamic between the known and the unknown.