My response to the question posed by the Torontoist Books section: What makes you feel optimistic about the future of poetry in Canada?

The problem of optimism is the problem of hope; potential is heartbreaking. I’m often labelled an optimist but prefer to describe myself as hopeful. I will be disappointed. To suggest otherwise dilutes life’s complexities into a pablum of self-help books and cheap heart glyphs. I crave the poetics of flux; reckless and resistant to one-way streets because we surpass the simple mindedness of half-full or half-empty glasses when we reach beyond our ken. We are not what we were or what we could be.

And yes, we’ve seen it all before. It takes courage to be optimistic in the face of continuous, inevitable, disappointment. But what gives me hope are poets and publishers willing to risk spectacular failure, refusing to abide the passivity of fixed limits or listen to yellow-bellied guardians of the here and now, forever and ever, amen. These rare seismic (r)evolutionaries are worth your tilting broken heart.

See the original post here and click through the rest of the submissions too: http://books.torontoist.com/2010/04/optimisms-16-christine-mcnair/


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