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Gom, Leona.

Saskatoon, Thistledown Press, c1984. 112pp, paper, ISBN 0-920066-80-1 (cloth) $20.00, 0-920066-77-1 (paper) $8.95. CIP

Grades 10 and up
Reviewed by Tony Cosier

Volume 13 Number 2
1985 March

Leona Gom delivers these poems with earthy clarity. She eases her short lines down the page with simplicity and directness. She is candid: we know who she is and where she comes from.

Though she is now a West Coast city dweller and a teacher and an editor and a poet on the reading tour, this Alberta farm girl remembers open fields and seeds and grain elevators and outhouses. She remembers the pain and death of animals.

She remembers her father vividly, captures him memorably stooping over a cracked singletree, his breath bleeding white alongside skittish horses in the snow. She traces his steady drive, his comical snoring and his cruelties.

She remembers her mother through crisp and telling encounters. In "Chop" and "Perspective," two excellent poems, she captures, through physical action, the bond between the two parents. The mother flails the dust of the day's labour off the father's stiffened back, then the mother, from the hayrick, pitches a forkful of hay up to him in the loft.

Most of this book is reprinted from the 1980 collection Land of the Peace, (Thistledown, 1980), which won the Governor General's award for that year. But the twenty new poems that follow are similar in content and tone, and they are just as good. Thistledown Press has packaged the collection in a crisp format, flawlessly edited, on hardy and handsome stock.

Readers will find this an easy book to like.

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