The pieces that make up Anne Le Dressay’s second poetry collection, Old Winter, are urban poems grounded in the rural past. Understated, direct, ironic, quietly humorous, they reveal a love of the particular, of small daily things which feel more and more fragile in a world overshadowed by big threats. Descriptive or narrative, focussing on the inner world of mind and spirit or the real world outside the narrator, these poems celebrate in close and vivid detail the small moments of ordinary life. They are poems of wonder, transformation, and resurrection.
Anne Le Dressay grew up in Manitoba, first on a farm near Virden and then on an acreage outside Lorette. She has lived for extended periods in Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Edmonton (in that order). She taught English and Creative Writing for ten years in Alberta. She is now in Ottawa for the second time, working for the feds. She has been publishing sporadically since the 1970s. She has one book, Sleep Is a Country (Harbinger, 1997) and two chapbooks, This Body That I Live In (Turnstone, 1979) and Woman Dreams (above/ground, 1998).
The snow is tired. It has thawed
and frozen, thawed and frozen, and its edges
have become ice crystal, blank space, and dirt.
When it was fresh, it caught and held
every speck of dust, froze every wandering
bit of trash. Now it releases
one by one a winter’s
The snow is broken, worn, faded grey,
pocked with dirt where the sun
Even the new soft white
fresh from last night
cannot cover the scars, cannot disguise
how old this winter is.