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Douglas Lochhead.

Fredericton, Goose Lane Editions, c1984.
103pp, paper, $6.95.
Distributed by Goose Lane Editions, University of New Brunswick, Box 4400, Fredericton, NB, E3B 5A3.
ISBN 0-86492-02-1.

Grades 10 and up.

Reviewed by Tony Cosier.

Volume 12 Number 6
1984 November

Though Douglas Lochhead is a distinguished academic, he bases most of the material for this book of prose poems onthe notes he kept in a diary as a humble soldier during the Second World War.

In The Panic Field, Lochhead assumes the style of a sober moralist striving to articulate the right generalizations for the occasion and is likely to appeal mainly to those who have actually experienced the events firsthand. For those who have neither been through the war years nor the specifics of military training, there is too little precise observation for the book to have impact. There are some notable exceptions to this trend: Lochhead's treatment of a ship running through a sea of bodies and his vivid account of the homecoming at Quebec City should touch all readers.

Two sequences of prose poems based on much later experiences accompany the thoughts on war. "In a Winter Apartment" stitches together ^pme tortured fragments into a bitter love poem. A cluster of fifteen pieces at the end of the volume centres on the Maritime landscape. The best selections from the book are here; the poet's precise glimpses of cottages and swans, foxes, and crops are smoothly articulated.

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