The Sleeping Life


Kerry Ryan

In this debut collection, like birds that “only ever fall half-way to sleep,” poet Kerry Ryan keeps “an eye always open” to the growing intimacy between the poet and her lover. It is an awareness most apparent in the still hours of the night when small rituals over take the lovers, and their state of grace becomes a lens that magnifies everything with the power of a birdwatcher’s field binoculars. These are poems resplendent with “the light that stays on in the back of the mind,” casting even the simplest evening gestures with a miraculous glow—the small clicks of a lover’s glasses as he removes them before sleep, a sumptuous embrace indulged without missing a second of the hockey game on TV. The Sleeping Life also abounds with birds—great grey, great horned and screech owls, dark eyed juncos, ducks, geese, chimney swifts. The poet herself takes on the guise of a bird, as “a blue eyed watcher, also called a small-chested, dark-headed worrier.”

POE011000 Poetry/Canadian •
96pp 6 x 9 in