Without Cease the Earth Faintly Trembles


143 pages
ISBN 0-919688-71-3
DDC C813'.6





Lydia Forssander-Song is a sessional instructor in the English
Department at Trinity Western University.


Through a photograph, a graph, a play, a screenplay, a dialogue, blank
spaces, definitions, instructions, footnotes, poetry, and prose, Amanda
Marchand’s first book is an eclectic and fragmented documentation of a
young girl’s dizziness and uncertainty regarding her identity, her
sexuality, and her posterity. The book is divided into two parts. Part
1, which constitutes most of the book, is about the protagonist’s past
and present. Part 2 is devoted to some consideration of the
protagonist’s future.

Marchand is best at visual imagery and metaphor, such as her use of a
recurring character, a red chair. Another example of effective visual
and sexual imagery can be found in her poem “Rabbit Hole”: “mouth
to mouth two girls a dock.” She opens the collection with a quote from
Helen Gardener’s Art Through the Ages that sets up Marchand’s
interrogation of identity and preoccupation with definition: “[Line]
is an elastic term … line suggests movement in some direction: each of
which produces a certain emotional reaction. Lines may be continuous or
broken, and when they are broken one may still feel the continuity of
the movement even though the actual line is invisible. It is seldom that
only one kind of line is used in a design. More likely two or more
interplay.” Although not always entirely effective, her attempts at
various genres ask good questions and present creative answers about
where to draw the lines between poetry, prose, picture, and play.


Marchand, Amanda., “Without Cease the Earth Faintly Trembles,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 24, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/31154.