In Cartography, her fifth collection of poetry, Rhona McAdam weaves an imaginative passage through the territories of love, work, family and aging. The journeys she takes her readers on are odd, familiar and memorable: we travel with her through startling and sensuous reflections on love, office paperwork and corporate layoffs; teen murder, truck stops and dementia. Here we find poems about suitcases, shoes and vegetables imbued with the same wry compassion with which she suffuses her portraits of aging parents and meditations on marital status and childlessness.
The world of her poems is completely and evocatively imagined, with humour and humanity, and traces the poet’s own movements, from England through Europe and back to Canada. Her themes reveal themselves cumulatively through the course of the collection. With a mature and original command of her craft, she reveals sensitivity to form, and to the ways in which rhyme and meter can enrich a poem.