Readers Write About Forget-Sadness-Grass
From Carolyne Van Der Meer, Author of "Sensorial" and "Heart of Goodness"
Antony Di Nardo’s Forget-Sadness-Grass is an ode to the daylily on the surface, and so much more as you peel away the layers. Di Nardo tells us “forget-sadness-grass” is in fact one of the many names for the common daylily in China—as bestowed upon it by the ancient poets of the T’ang Dynasty—but those words, without this daylily association, describe the journey on which Di Nardo takes us: a series of poems that allow us, no, push us, to forget any sadness, to go on this walk with him through an Asian-style garden of verse. In it, we meet Chinese poets Li Bai and Tseng Jui—and even rub shoulders with Canadian poet E.D. Blodgett, after whom Di Nardo composes several poems. Although he frames his collection through the lens of a daylily, Di Nardo is actually teaching us to recognize our smallness in the vastness of the universe while at the same time taking in every element of beauty and paying homage to nature’s wisdom: “these orange daylilies … know all about the workings of the sun / Watch them take all the light for themselves.” Yes, through this daylily lens, Di Nardo implores us to take what the sun gives us, for life is fleeting. “I am not that far from eternity, not at my age—” he says, but “A poem can stare at the sun for the longest time.” He gives us a recipe for living and for life in this extraordinary collection that only through going back to the earth, defies ends.
From Laurence Hutchman, Author of "In the Writers' Words: Conversation with Ten Canadian Poets"
Forget-Sadness-Grass, the title of Antony Di Nardo’s newest collection, is the translation of the Chinese ideogram for daylily. With it, the poet creates a kind of Keatsian empathy when he writes: “I would like to be a sure-fire thing /a given, an understanding between /daybreak and sunset.” In his witty, epigrammatic style, he deftly incorporates allusions to Freddy Mercury, Catherine Deneuve, The Doors, and John Ashbery. This is a wonderfully variegated collection, where the poet evokes the life of the daylily, meditating on its beauty, couture, and transience, making surprising and mysterious connections to our personal experiences while expressing universal truths.
From Jessica Outram, Poet Laureate of Cobourg and Author of "That Thing with Feathers"
[Antony Di Nardo’s] books assemble poetry that explores the art of description as a means of framing experience and for celebrating the transformative power of Nature.
From Arleen Paré, Author of "Time Out Of Time," and "Lake of Two Mountains," Winner of the Governor-General's Award for Poetry
The poetry throughout this collection is simply stunning: there is so much grace, modesty, rhythm and precision. … Not for a very long time have I read a collection so perfect, so real and to the point. This is poetry one could read again and again, for one’s heart, for the beauty of the words.