A Well-Mannered Storm

Kate Braid

A Well-Mannered Storm is an exploration of correspondence between one of Canada’s greatest musicians, Glenn Gould, and “K,” an admiring fan. Braid weaves an intimate dynamic as K struggles with the loss of her hearing in one ear, finding her greatest comfort in Gould’s music–particularly as he plays Bach. Gould’s poems don’t directly reply, but echo a response as he struggles with his own difficult life; his family, his health, his strong beliefs in how music should be presented and his personal habits considered “eccentric” by an ever-watchful press. K starts to accept her changing world, just as Gould begins a personal spiral downward into disintegration. In his final reflection, Gould acknowledges that in spite of his personal trials, his music now circles the world in the spacecraft Voyager, as earth’s example to other possible life forms of what is most beautiful in this civilization. A Well-Mannered Storm is a striking and masterful volume of poems that does justice to Gould’s brilliance, offering insights into his personal life and art, even as it showcases Braid’s own virtuosity.