There is something of the elemental in Outlasting the Weather, Patrick Friesen’s Selected and New poems 1994-2020. Over time, the elements shape new worlds. Wind carves a stone bowl, the earth receives our dead. The poems are archaeological digs through layers of a life lived without the certainty of belief. Covering twenty-six years and selected from eight previous volumes, the poems in this collection reject wisdom; rather, they are infused with the kind of knowledge that comes from having weathered many seasons yet still remaining open to wonder. Perhaps, writes Friesen of his late father, you are in that grave where we laid you but I am child enough to think the sky. And for a moment we all look up, transported, filled with the endless possibilities offered by a poet for whom poetry is a way of thinking.
The volume wraps up with, “New Work,” twenty-seven new poems that display the poet’s vast and prodigious talents.