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.
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.