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Robert Colman’s third book of poetry, Democratically Applied Machine, is a back-to-basics approach to creation. In poems that inhabit both industrial and domestic landscapes, Colman traces his inheritance to determine how his life echoes that of his forebears, even as the past blurs with the onset of his father’s Alzheimer’s dementia. These are poems with working parts; poems of lineage and legacy; poems that engage the mechanical world while retaining nature’s imprint. Democratically Applied Machine is a defining collection from one of Canada’s finest poets.
Praise for Democratically Applied Machine
Laden with music and linguistically rich, Robert Colman’s Democratically Applied Machine embraces form’s range. Lyric, narrative, erasure, prose poem, sonnet, found poem and sestina all serve his overriding themes of work and family. “Work is done in smallness” says Colman. Here it’s done large. These poems hum with an earthy sophistication.— Catherine Graham, The Celery Forest