Author: William Robertson
ISBN: 9781771871501 Categories: Poetry, Canadian, Nature, Subjects & Themes
Publication Date: 1 October, 2017
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5"

In this collection we are captivated by William Robertson’s love of the natural world. He sees majesty in the smallest creatures, enjoys the simplicities of canoeing, hunting, and fishing, and shares his joy with the reader. He is modest in his knowledge of the natural world, humble in knowing that there is too much to ever fully appreciate when armed with our curiosity alone. And so, he sees himself as a sort of decoy, a fake bird used as a lure for wild birds to us, knowing if he succeeds we might discover what he has discovered. Robertson takes us through the Canadian landscape of his youth as he delightfully meets the provincial flowers in person calling them by name: Prairie Lily, Wild Rose, Trillium, Dogwood, Showy Ladies Slipper, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, and Fringed Gentian. This collection is one that will delight Canadian readers, as in these pages we get to know one who has truly loved the smallest and simplest of Mother Nature, and within them found the extraordinary beauty of this land.

About the Author

William Robertson is a poet, university English instructor, freelance writer, reviewer, and broadcaster. He has published four collections of poems, the most recent of which is Just Living (2005), and a biography of a singer, k.d. lang: Carrying the Torch (1993). He has edited two collections of his Indian Teacher Education Program students’ creative writing, the most recent of which is Where I’m From: ITEP Creative Writing 2005-2013. He has also contributed chapters to books on fishing and on the literary history of Saskatchewan.

He was born in Tokyo and has lived in various places in both Japan and Canada, including Ontario, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan. He graduated from high school in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan and went on to do a BA and an MA at the University of Saskatchewan. He was on the editorial board of the NeWest Review for ten years. He has also reviewed plays, books, and musical events for the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, to which he has contributed since 1979, and for fifteen years reviewed plays and concerts for CBC Saskatchewan. He was also a regular panelist on the national CBC’s Talking Books program for all of its eleven-year tenure.

He teaches English and creative writing in Saskatoon, did so in Prince Albert for twenty-two years at St. Peter’s College in Muenster, Saskatchewan, and at St. Thomas More College in Saskatoon.


William Robertson’s engaging animal encounter poems come from that place where experience segues into anecdote and anecdote into kitchen table wisdom. Walking-paced, often wry, low-falutin in manner and speech, they channel the music of the vernacular, where ‘official’ walleye are still pickerel and even fish tales need no inflation to make them sing.
— Don McKay

This long overdue new collection by William Robertson celebrates the transformative moments that illuminate the everyday — a raven in flight, a son’s laughter, a fisherman’s perfectly-cast fly touching down on the surface of the stream. As the title suggests, the poems search for the true sentiment, the true image or insight to light out way, to guide us through the losses that accumulate in every human life.
— Elizabeth Philips, award-winning poet and novelist, author of Torch River and The Afterlife of Birds.

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