Wormwood Vermouth, Warphistory

Wormwood, Vermouth, Warphistory

poems 94 p.
Thistledown Press 1995
ISBN: 1895449367

Richard Stevenson remarks, “He’s one of our best poets: it’s long past time to acknowledge that.” Richard remarks on this poet’s ability to command tone and diction, “he can shift gears, not only mid-sentence or mid-line, but often, and to the very witty and clever effect, mid-syllable—without excluding or bamboozling his reader. He can be devastatingly funny, while he does his Heidegger Diddle mid-swath on the tractor with CBC coming in loud and clear on the headphones. He redeems the pun and re-animates ordinary speech in so many directions at once it is hard to keep up with him.”

Wormwood Vermouth, Warphistory won the WGA 1996 poetry award.

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Here is poetry that takes on, in both senses, the contemporary “malcontent” or knowledge smog, wormholes it (bird’s eye be damned) or sees it through with wild equivocating and contaminated sentences.

Even at fifth or sixth reading one is ambushed by hidden jests and configurations, some going off like firecrackers, others (for apocalypse flares on each poem’s horizon) like depthcharges. And woven throughout is a clear-eyed elegy for a friend and mentor, the “ironic grinch”, Jon Whyte.

This is the voice of an integrated intelligence, of a simple man with a complex, athletic mind, a philosopher playing hopscotch with the kids in the back lane, completely at ease.

See Cryogenic Thought and Blanch in France.

Let’s Hear It For Them

Lets Hear It For Them

poems 63 p. ; 22 cm.
Thistledown Press 1990
ISBN: 0920633749

Let’s Hear It For Them was shortlisted for WGA 1991 poetry award.

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Charles Noble still farms near Nobleford, Alberta during the summer (and if it rains). In the winter he writes poetry, reads philosophy and lifts weights.  Let’s Hear It for Them is his fourth collection of poems.

“The subjects of the poems…are familiar, but the presentation of them is convincingly based on their elements and is accomplished through an idiosyncratic and exhilarating use of language.” – Journal of Canadian Studies

“…he is to Canadian poetry, perhaps, what Sam Shepard is to American drama.” – Western American Literature

Afternoon Starlight

Afternoon Starlight

Thistledown Press 1984
ISBN: 0920066909

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Back cover copy:

Charles Noble was born in Lethbridge, Alberta in 1945 and grew up on the family farm outside the village of Nobleford. He is a graduate of the University of Alberta. He spends the winters in Banff and his summers working on the family farm.
Charles Noble stretches poetic language and semantics beyond reality. He employs a unique and distinctive voice which takes simple anecdotal narratives and propels them towards the surreal and the fantasy. Noble’s poetry is rooted in the routine events of living and farming, but it reaches far beyond the mundane and offers the reader glimpses of a rich philosophical world in which the poet is in complete control, not just of language and form, but of space, time, reality itself.

Afternoon Starlight is a wonderful and worthy successor to Noble’s Haywire Rainbow.

A critical response to Haywire Rainbow:

“Noble is uncommon. He takes the same farm, city, or family others have seen, holds a mirror to them, then smashes the mirror and reorganizes a selection of pieces some of which reflect at odd angles.” – Brick



poems 62 p. ; 22 cm.
Longspoon Press, Dept. English, Univ. of Alberta Edmonton, AB 1984
ISBN: 0919285244

Banff/Breaking offers a personal and microcosmic view of Banff by focussing in on everyday people as they play out their intertwining lives under the jagged shadows of the Rockies.

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Back cover copy:

One of the more promising writers in the West, Charles Noble has been described by the Ottawa Recurrent as a “latter-day literary Peasant Bruegel.”

Born in Lethbridge, Alberta and raised in Nobleford, Charles presently divides his time between Banff and Nobleford, where he farms.

Previous books include Haywire Rainbow (Press Porcepic, 1978) and Three (Summerthought, 1973, with Jon Whyte and J. O. Thompson). His poetry has appeared in various magazines and anthologies and has been broadcast on CBC radio.

Banff/Breaking offers a personal and microcosmic view of Banff by focussing in on everyday people as they play but their intertwining lives under the jagged shadows of the Rockies.

Haywire Rainbow: Poems

Haywire Rainbow

Porcepic 1978 Erin, ON
ISBN: 0888781601

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Back cover copy:

Haywire Rainbow is Charles Noble’s first book, although his poems have been widely published in magazines and anthologies.

Here, in extravagant and exuberant language, are brought together philosophy, emotion and lyricism. All with a colloquial insouciance and direct Western sense of humour. Prominent in Noble’s work are images from the farm, where he spent his childhood, and where his roots are firmly planted. His family has farmed for generations in Alberta.

In Charles Noble, a truly original voice—Western, rural, and eccentric—is added to Canadian poetry.


Three (Summerthought, 1973) with John O. Thompson and Jon Whyte.

Unfounded Knowledge

Noble, C. (Anak Press, 1972). Unfounded knowledge. Wood Mountain, Sask: ANAK.


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