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McFadden, David.

Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, c1984. 136pp, paper, $12.95, ISBN 0-7710-5 512-9. CIP

Grades 12 and up
Reviewed by Pat Bolger

Volume 13 Number 2
1985 March

McFadden writes:

One cannot claim authorship for a vague intuition that if one continues reading/writing something wonderful will happen.

In "Country of the Open Heart" and "Night of Endless Radiance," composed with the help of the I Ching, one must continue reading hundreds of lines like "The hog's ears appeared in the long grass./Enormous pyramids appeared across the lake" to trip over the wonderful "discarded artifacts undreaming/in dim corners of the studied human earth, . ."

The shorter poems, which make up the balance of this collection, are much different: wildly, and often weirdly imaginative, humorous in a distinctively deadpan fashion, rich with puns (as in "nothing hurts like a herd of hurt hearts/or so I've heard"). Teenagers would especially enjoy "The Cow That Swam Lake Ontario," "White Dog," and "The Armadillo."

The collection is not likely to appeal generally to teenagers, however. The cover is particularly offputting, with a muddy reproduction from a painting of the beheading of John the Baptist. Recommended for teacher reference or adult collections which emphasize Canadian literature.

Pat Bolger, Renfrew C.I., Renfrew, Ont.
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