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Pier Giorgio Di Cicco.

Vancouver, Intermedia Press, c1983.
48pp, paper, $12.95 (cloth), $5.95 (paper).
ISBN 0-88956-106-0 (cloth), 0-88956-107-9 (paper).

Grades 11 and up.
Reviewed by Tony Cosier.

Volume 11 Number 6.
1983 November.

The strongest feature of Dark to Light: Reasons for Humanness is the impression it gives of the poet. Pier Giorgio Di Cicco presents himself as a husky-voiced enthusiast charging about the continent, fired with emotion for youth in general, for fellow poets, for friends and many lovers. His values are elemental, bodily. He scorns the pretensions of contemporary academics. He is not afraid of sentiment and revels in hyperbole. He is a Romantic in spirit, a throwback to Whitman.

Yet the poems themselves have a modern ring. Di Cicco barks a loose and prosy line. He never veers from standard diction. He clusters thought in surrealistic patches.

In "Solace," Di Cicco portrays himself effectively as a sympathetic companion numbed in the presence of despair. "The Poem Becomes Canadian," "For my Young Friends," "The Updating," and "The Beat Poets, 1976" are notable as examples of a highly subjective poet reaching out to share the feelings of others. Dark to Light is overflowing with imaginative associations such as "the clear blue rippling of the tongue turning out swallows" or "seventy men are dancing on a broken rib" or "the left branch of the tree is kissing the long white neck of the city."

As a poet, editor, and critic, Di Cicco is a prominent figure on the Toronto poetry scene, and this characteristic selection should be of value to students interested in mainstream Canadian poetry.

Tony Cosier, Confederation H. S., Nepean, ON.
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