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Brian MacKinnon.
Photography by Margaret Shaw.

Winnipeg, Prairie Publishing, c1982.
(Poets of the Canadian Prairies).
55pp, paper, $6.95.
ISBN 0-919576-36-2.

Grades 9 and up.
Reviewed by A. L. Florence.

Volume 11 Number 4.
1983 July.

Brian MacKinnon gives us here a small collection of gems from a sensitive perception of daily living. What stirs the reader is the flash of recognition for poignant moments we each encounter at a certain moment: the eldest son, aspiring to attain the six-foot-height he believes his father expects, wears "mountain boots on the prairies." Or, maintaining vigilance by his father's bedside, he realizes no reversal is appropriate of the bedside stories with which the now aged father once used to warm and comfort his young self. Overall is the pervasive sense of youthful idealism that, over the years, needs must accept much less than was dreamed of. The infinity that was once "literally teeming and swarming with connotations of winged unicorns of apparent truth" has in reality become a world "smothered by a pollution of half truths."

The poet has worked as a labourer on construction sites, as a Euclid operator, a waiter for CP Rail, a freelance writer, and a teacher of English. An honours graduate in English from University of Manitoba, he has taught creative writing and English literature. In 1977-78 he worked in the writers-in-the-schools program and was awarded an Ontario Arts Council grant for poetry in 1977.

A. L. Florence, Winnipeg, MB.
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