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by (author) E.D. Blodgett

photographs by Yukiko Onley

The University of Alberta Press
Initial publish date
Aug 2005
Canadian, General
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A lament in light. A breath-taking memorial. Poetry and photography that compose the landscapes of remembrance. Once I saw your breath suspended in the air then I understood how fire could be white when I exhaled my breath followed yours into the sky that holds us both "Rich, profound, engaging, and written with an emotional depth rarely seen in much of contemporary poetry. There's a meditative virtuosity throughout this work, original and perceptive, alive with intelligence and compassion." Don Domanski

About the authors


Poet and scholar, E.D. Blodgett has published seventeen books of poetry two of which were awarded the Governor General’s Award. He is an Emeritus Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Alberta. His research has varied from mediaeval European romance to Canadian Comparative Literature and his publications include Five-Part Invention: A History of Literary History in Canada (2003) and Elegy (2005).

Harold Coward is Professor Emeritus and the past director of the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at the University of Victoria where he continues to be involved as a research fellow.


E.D. Blodgett's profile page

Yukiko Onley is a professional photographer in Vancouver, BC. This collaboration was inspired in memory of her former husband, acclaimed landscape watercolourist Toni Onley.

Yukiko Onley's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"I am increasingly impressed with how versatile E.D. Blodgett can be. In last year's review I spoke of how different were his 'broad, page-wide paragraphs (in a square-format book) threaded with long, sinewy, wistful sentences' in apostrophes (2004) from the diminutive riddle pieces of 2003. Now we have something in between, not the prolix revolvings of last year's volume or the sly encryptions of the one before. Elegy is the title and subject of this year's crop..I had the sense with this book, as I often do with Blodgett's work, of a raffle-ticket barrel being turned and turned, the same words falling over one another in myriad arrangements.and the poet going in deep each time and coming up with a poem. I found the accompanying photographs quite suggestive, if a little on the sentimental side (nudging this volume in the direction of the coffee-table book), but a nice account of the project's genesis concludes the book." University of Toronto Quarterly, Vol. 76, No. 1, Winter 2007

"...Blodgett has crafted Elegy with a compassionate and meditative hand....[T]his is a shared lament, a prayerful journey through loss." Eric Barstad,, February 16, 2006.

"The resulting book-weaving long poem and photographs-is a beautiful, vibrant exploration of loss and growing understanding...For her part, Onley's photographs often have the diffused haunting qualities of her husband's watercolours." Chris Wiebe, VUE Weekly, October 13-19, 2005

"Elegy is a unique collaboration of the poetry of E.D. Blodgett and the black and white photography of Yukiko Onley, to create a wistful remembrance of loss, death, and transition. The gentle, reflective poetry quietly muses about the unknown, while the still images of natural beauty evoke a picturesque mood that complements the verses perfectly. Elegy is not subdivided into separate poems per se; it is rather one long poem of memory, wonder, longing, and healing." The Wisconsin Bookwatch, February, 2006.

"[Readers] will find it easy to immerse themselves in the meditation that is Elegy. Nineteen black and white landscape photographs by Yukiko Onley ("portraits of nature," according to Blodgett) further illuminate the poems and ensure the book will remain open in readers' hands long after they have finished reading." Mark Wells, The St. Albert Gazette, August 31, 2005

"In Elegy, E.D. Blodgett does not focus on specific landscapes; rather, he draws his inspiration from a more abstract, elemental landscape of rain, sea, rivers, earth and trees. Blodgett's is a landscape of memory and grief, physical surroundings appropriated to make a sense of loss and cling to remembrance." – Laura Knowles, Oxford Brookes University, British Journal of Canadian Studies, 19.2