The Green Archetypal Field of Poetry: on poetry, poets, and psyche

Green Archetypal

Ekstasis Editions,
Victoria, BC, 2022. 141 pp.
126 p.p.

The Green Archetypal Field of Poetry: on poetry, poets, and psyche gathers a selection of essays and short statements on poetry by Stephen Morrissey. While best known as a poet, Morrissey’s critical writing is an important part of his literary work. In this book he writes on the legacy of several Canadian poets who helped bring modernism to Canadian poetry. Always original, Morrissey's approach to poetics reminds us of the enduring importance of Beat, Romantic, and shamanic poetics; Morrissey emphasizes the human soul as the center of writing poetry. Morrissey suggests that poems originate in what he calls the green archetypal field of poetry. This is Stephen Morrissey’s second volume on poetry and poetics, after The Poet’s Journey: on poetry and what it means to be a poet.

Critical praise for The Green Archetypal Field of Poetry

For close to fifty years, Stephen Morrissey has been reminding me that poetry is a calling, that it is essential to human psychic health, and that it is the air we need to breathe. He is certainly one of the most interesting "thinkers" in our generation, and one of our most consequential poets. His latest book, The Green Archetypal Field of Poetry, is a must-read.
—Ken Norris, author of South China Sea (2021)

Here is a book for any reader who may have doubts about the growing relevance of poetry and the need for poetry in our lives. Reading Morrissey’s thoughts on why and how he became a poet in his home city of Montreal, eventually writing his way into Canadian literature as one of the very best poets of his generation—Morrissey is a most convincing literary guide, as this delightful and fascinating book will clearly reveal.
—Glen Sorestad, First Poet Laureate of Saskatchewan, 2000-2004; author of Selected Poems from Dancing Birches (2020)

Morrissey’s book spans a lifetime of reading and writing poetry, and of bumping up against poets who were doing the same. It is an intense and beautiful exploration of what poetry means to him. Morrissey concludes that poetry is "the voice of the human soul." In short, in this book he offers us a glimpse into his own soul, and that is a profound and wonderful gift.
—Professor Collett Tracey, English Department, Carleton University, Ottawa

Stephen Morrissey wanders herein the Green Archetypal Fields—the Elysian Fields—of the Poetry that the Poet has conjured. He is Yeatsian here, looking back at Fellow Travellers in the Art, recalling Allen Ginsberg preaching, "scribble down your nakedness," re-reading Jack Keats and Jack Kerouac and discovering that they are long-lost brothers, reminiscing about Montreal mentors and comrades—the directly great Louis Dudek, Irving Layton, F.R. Scott, and A.M. Klein, and the Véhicule Poets. And what is the end of all the musing? Poetry. Impeccable Poetry.
—George Elliott Clarke, 7th Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada (2016-2017); author of Where Beauty Survived: An Africadian Memoir (Knopf, 2021)