Rhona McAdam’s sixth collection of poems, Ex-ville, reflects upon what we leave behind: the people, places and journeys that shape our lives.
We peer through many doorways in this suburb of the imagination. The poet’s move back to Canada from her home in England unfolds in a bittersweet series of poems that probe the meaning of departure and arrival.
The ambivalent pleasures of travel in an anxious but beautiful world lead us eloquently astray in many countries, longing “for home in each new bed, / worrying the nests of strangers”.
The poles of life from first to second childhoods are explored with deft wisdom and technical skill, whether fingering the keys of failed piano lessons or taking the wheel when old age leads parents into dementia and institutionalization.
There is sadness and wisdom in these poems, as well as joy, love and passion. Ex-ville is a book to welcome and celebrate, and then return to, often.