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Poetry by Kevin Bushell

Invisible Sea

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Invisible Sea

Joseph Campbell wrote: “The airplane has replaced the bird in the imagination as the symbol of the release of spirit from the bonds of earth.” Hence Invisible Sea. Part critique, part celebration of technology, these poems explore the symbolic and mythical associations of the historical moment when human beings took flight and, in a sense, became Godlike. Follow the voice of Wilbur Wright as he unlocks the mysteries of human flight and pays a heavy price. Then examine the stories of early aeronauts, both legendary and real, from Daedalus to John Glenn, orbiting the earth. The title poem of Invisible Sea, a serial poem, scans the major discoveries of aeronautics, beginning with Da Vinci’s study of fluids and ending with transonic flight. These are poems with both narrative thrust and lyrical lift and play, carrying us into the ethereal realm of birds, bats, boomerangs, and frisbees.

Critical Comment

"Kevin Bushell has been airborne through all the decades I’ve known him and his fine poetry. Fascinated with the history of flight, and its grip on the human imagination, from Icarus to the present, he has been writing poems that have gathered not only weight, but also lift and beauty. The early sequences are engaging and many of the poems in the final section, called Auguries, are brilliant. Like one of his favourite poets, Don McKay, he continues to wax eloquent, celebrating the raveled wingspans of bird and man. Invisible Sea is a book of love poems that celebrates our urge to rise above the fray. Read it and get high."

– Gary Geddes

"Invisible Sea ranges from the home-grown urges of kites and boomerangs to those manic bricoleurs jumping from towers, from the resilience of the Wright Brothers to the crisp equations of Euler and Bernoulli. Kevin Bushell rescues flight from lyric cliché, paying tribute to the 'hidden miracle of air' without sacrificing its empirical grounding. These are moving, witty, ironically edged poems that honour the complex being of their subject, knowing that both lift and drag are essential ingredients. This is a book to cherish for its superb, informed, acts of attention."

– Don McKay 


See All Lit Up interview/reading with author Kevin Bushell:





Author Kevin Bushell

Bushell Author


Author Biography

Kevin Bushell’s poems have appeared in The Fiddlehead, The Antigonish Review, Prairie Fire, and Exile, among other journals. His poem “The Life of Alberto Santos-Dumont: A Tragedy in Two Acts” was published in The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2011, edited by Priscila Uppal. He teaches at Vanier College in Montreal and lives in Pointe-Claire, Quebec.


49th Shelf

Invisible Sea, Kevin Bushell, 110 pp., 5 x 8, Poetry, March 2022

ISBN: 978-1-927599-57-0 (paper) . . . $19.95

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