The past and present entwine — or perhaps entangle — in Tim Bowling’s latest and twelfth collection of poetry. With a title that points to the attractiveness of the words within, The Duende of Tetherball will encircle readers with its riveting language and linking nature. Every poem seems to bring to mind the everyday dilemmas that give a person pause, with lines such as “Remember, the westerly that brings / fine weather does not generally bring fish.”
Tim Bowling’s prose and poetry have been honoured with countless awards and nominations, including the Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize and two nominations for the Governor General’s Literary Award. Although Bowling has published books of memoir and fiction — most notably the haunting war story, The Tinsmith — he prefers to work on his poetry. His previous eleven collections have employed a diverse range of unique motifs, such as salmon fishing on the Fraser River to explore time and memory.
Using his lush poetic voice, Bowling plays with the tension between generations and species. He brings together vast experiences and distant moments in a single poem as if time were as pliable as the rope on a tetherball pole. As he reflects on his own relationships with his family and his responsibility to the environment through sensitive language, he leads the reader in a remembrance of lessons lost. A seasoned poet, Bowling’s lyrical skills are clearly exhibited in his latest collection, which will be appreciated by anyone who wishes to have a scrutinizing reflection on their place in the world.