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This Orchard Sound

Wolsack & Wynn
ISBN 978-1-894987-92-9


In This Orchard Sound, John takes the reader to an abandoned fruit orchard as it being bulldozed. From the twisted limbs of apple, pear and plum trees to cars dripping fluids far removed from the rain that once fell on the orchard grass, Terpstra asks questions of progress, grace and the complicity of humanity in this short suite of poems. Only the birds answer his questions as he paces the old orchard, armed with his saw, gathering wood for his commission: a new cross for a local congregation. An addendum “This Friday Good" written for this new release recalls the commission and what came of it.



John Terpstra (“This Orchard Sound and the Stations of the Cross,” March 25, 2016) “The poems tell the story, in slant fashion, of entering a derelict orchard in Burlington, Ontario, to find and cut down a cross to hang in a church. I had the brilliant idea that the natural branching of a tree would be a natural, so to speak, as a cross – far better, and less kitschy, than the rough-hewn timbers nailed together you usually see when one of us lay-carpenter-type people get the urge to make a cross.”

See John’s explanatory notes about the poems and their making here

Sean Howard (“Alarming Testimony: John Terpstra's This Orchard Sound” Arc Poetry Magazine, April 8, 2016) “The slender strength of John Terpstra’s reissued chapbook This Orchard Sound somehow carries, with as much grace as grief, the weight of more than one Cross.”

read the full review here