The debut collection of New Brunswick poet Emily Davidson, Lift is an examination of how to be alive without being adrift. Loosely narrative, the collection spans two Canadian coasts, its speaker a transplant from Atlantic to Pacific. Lift asks questions of of revellers at house parties, of ex-lovers, of classic films and grade-school dramas. Through careful observation, wry humour, and inquisitive uncertainty, Davidson charts her course through solitude and disconnection back to her roots and into the unknown. Comprising poems that are colloquial and elaborate, familiar and fresh, unshrinking and compassionate, Lift assembles a miscellany of what is borne away on the tide, and what comes back again. Lift carves a path through the world, into the heart, and arrives at last at home.
Davidson’s poetry is awash with language that lifts off the page and ranges from the rhythms and beats of youthful discovery to the pulses and throbs of the natural world that merge with city life. Gently philosophical about the voyage of self-discovery and what must be left behind to move ahead, it employs both a narrative structure for careful telling and a lyrical base for the huge emotional geography of Canada’s coasts.