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Pier Giorgio Di Cicco.

Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, c1982.
96pp, paper, $9.95.
ISBN 0-7710-2713-3.

Grades 12 and up.
Reviewed by Pat Bolger.

Volume 10 Number 4.
1982 November.

These poems, previously published in literary journals or broadcast on radio and television, make heavy demands on the reader: "Death can't be all bad if it means/going to school and learning scrub-board, spoons and stamping/all at once." This apparently deliberate obscurity has a cumulative effect, and the reader nearing the end of the volume may begin to wonder if the dimly perceived insights are worth all the effort. Although many of the poems rise from personal concerns, Di Cicco maintains a distance that precludes easy intimacy with the reader. His conviction of the dangers of militarism burns through a number of powerful pieces including a blues for Al Haig, in which the jazzy form seems barely able to contain the writer's rage. In the same vein, he has used McDonnell-Douglas advertising for two memorable found poems.

The topical poems here would find an audience among mature young adults who share the author's concern about such issues as the arms race. Otherwise, this collection is not likely to be widely used in a high school library.

Pat Bolger, Renfrew C. I., Renfrew, ON.
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