Moose Jaw Times Herald - The Days Run Away

Reviewed by: Lisa Goudy

Documenting Life in The Days Run Away

Local writer Robert Currie releases seventh book of poetry

Robert Currie remembers what it was like helping his friend, Gary Hyland, as he struggled with ALS.

Hyland, a celebrated Saskatchewan writer and teacher, died in 2011 at the age of 70. Currie, local writer, dedicated his recent book of poems, The Days Run Away, to Hyland.

"The last section I wrote as my way of dealing with my grief over his horrendous struggle with ALS, which my wife and I saw a lot of because we used to look after him one night a week to give his wife a break," said Currie. "So, in a sense, we were struggling with it too …(Hyland's wife) did such a tremendous job looking after him."

The Days Run Away is a compilation of poetry Currie has written since 2009.

"One of the things you try to do with a book of poetry is to document what life is like in our times," he said.

"I think poems may not always be factual but I think they're true of life as it is and true of human emotion, true of the beauties that exist around us and sometimes of the things that make us choke up and feel really sad, as in the section about my friend Gary."

Inspiration for writing poetry can come from anywhere. One poem in the book, Matinee, is about being a theatre when there is a fire. This happened to Currie in Saskatoon when he was younger.

"It turned out it wasn't much of a fire – it was smoke mainly – but there was lots of panic," said Currie. "I don't know what made me think of that because I hadn't thought of it in years, but as soon as I thought about it, there was the poem starting."

Currie said he writes all of his poems freehand with a pen before typing them up, printing them off and revising them. Each revision is dated.

"It really helps if you can have a space where you haven't looked at it for a while and then you come back with fresh eyes, almost as if you're reading somebody else's poem," said Currie. "Then you get a better idea of what's working and what isn't working."

The book launch for The Days Run Away will be on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the theatre at the Moose Jaw Public Library. The book is also available at Post Horizon Booksellers.

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy

The poetry sections of The Days Run Away

There are five sections in Currie's latest book of poetry, The Days Run Away.

1. The Sudden Lift – This section of poetry deals with life's surprises and things that give people a lift.

2. Much to Fear – These poems focus on things that scare or worry people

3. The Way It Was – The poems in this section are personal experiences from Currie's life.

4. Darkness Approaching – This section deals with the sad side of life and what life is like, as people get older.

5. Breath Like a Rap Beat – The last section features 10 poems about Gary Hyland and his battle with ALS.


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