In 1978 Press Porcepic published a slim volume by an emerging poet. The collection Haywire Rainbow was described as a collection in which “extravagant and exuberant language, brought together philosophy, emotion and lyricism.” For decades Charles Noble through his writing has wandered beyond the imagination’s limit, sallied from the safe language harbours, revelled in connotative abundance, immersed himself in philosophical phenomena, and earned his place in Canadian poetry.
Strikingly original, explorer, subterranean, and farmer-philosopher are other words that critics have been used to describe Charles Noble and his oeuvre published over the past forty years. An album of his inimitable work from 1972-2007, Sally O is the first retrospective of Noble’s literary expeditions. Enlightened with extensive author notes and commentary, this selected showcases Noble’s ability to be anything but conventional and establishes his presence in the post-modern arguments.
“Hearth Wild is brilliantly a poem, a document, an autobiography, a bejesus joy.” — Robert Kroetsch
“Such poems, full of intimate knowledge filtered through an intellectual screen, set Noble’s poems apart from the usual prairie anecdotal lyric.” — Douglas Barbour, Wild Words: Essays on Alberta Literature
“Built like a fullback, Noble exudes energy in his poems, which I might argue are like those of no one else writing in Canada today.” — John Ditsky, Western American Literature
“Some people have extraordinary peripheral vision. Supposedly it was such wide-angle viewing skills that helped Wayne Gretzky skate and score so well, for example. Banff author Charles Noble brings a similar wide-angle awareness to bear on language and meaning.” — Harry Vandervlist, Fast Forward
“[Noble]… travels much within his own Concord… [and even] “Planck lengths” — The scope is difficult to suggest in a short review... an innovative and profound examination of the relationship between language and its contexts...the role poetry can play in these unsettled times.” — Marc Thackray, Journal of Canadian Poetry
Of Let’s Hear It For Them:
“... smashed language ‘reflects’, one could well feel, smashed political hopes... At the same time, torqued language opens onto such fun, such wit... My claim would be that the Pound antenna, or the Cocteau / Spicer radio, was tuned into our ‘90’s, so far as these matters [free trade, GATT, high finance, farm subsidies etc] are concerned, by CN about a decade earlier...I don’t think the Canadian Long Poem comes any better than this.”
— John O. Thompson, Canadian Studies conference, University of Leeds.
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