In the 144 poems of For as Far as the Eye Can See, Robert Melançon re-imagines the sonnet as a “rectangle of twelve lines,” and poetry as “a monument as fragile as the grass.” Impressionistic, seasonal, allusive, in language sharp and clean, this form-driven collection is both a book of hours and a measured meditation on art, nature, and the vagaries of perception.
“Judith Cowan’s graceful translation of Robert Melançon’s For as Far as the Eye Can See packs 144 striking and meditative sonnets into one small volume. Melançon’s work is rich and deceptively simple: “Let’s lift our faces to this October sunlight, and close our eyes; at once we’ll share/the entirely philosophical well-being of the cat/who’s stretched out in the grass.” It’s a welcome introduction to one of Quebec’s major poets.”—The Globe & Mail
“One hundred forty-four poems of acute observation: Melançon’s invention is impressive. Judith Cowan’s rendering of the poet’s work into English is adroit and fully idiomatic.”—Montreal Review of Books
“Poetry, in Melançon’s hands, is a way of seeing.”—GoodReports.net
“Melançon savours the real … [in these] somber celebrations of appearances and their depths.”—Patrick Kurp, Anecdotal Evidence