The poems in Stumbling in the Bloom engage the ever-present enticements and entanglements of beauty on life’s, and art’s, home ground—in wilderness and garden. But this surprising volume, the finale of John Pass’s quartet of poetry books, At Large, takes intriguing side trips on the home-stretch, including a wry excursion to the chiropractor, a fanciful flight from a student driver’s parallel parking practice, up an “Everest” in Alberta, and on a singularly moving Canadian journey towards and away from the “ground zero” of the 9/11 tragedy. The book, and Pass’s aesthetic, come to rest finally on a fulcrum, a paradox, of acceptance: the embrace of uncertainty and (un)happy accident that purpose and effort alone make possible.
“Pass truly qualifies as the best writer in Canada you never heard of until now . . . [He] dares to go beyond the personal lyric, weaving classical, Christian Romantic and existential threads from our eclectic culture into a narrative tapestry of language and ideas.” –John Moore, The Vancouver Sun