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Bruce, Charles.

Porters Lake (N.S.), Pottersfield Press, c1985. 80pp, paper, ISBN 0-919001-24-6 (cloth) $30.00, 0-919001-23-8 (paper) $7.95. (Atlantic Classics) Distributed by Potters-field Press, R.R. #2 Porters Lake, N.S., BOJ 2SO. CIP

Reviewed by Joan McGrath

Volume 13 Number 4
1985 July

Charles Bruce, celebrated as the author of the Canadian classic The Channel Share, was also a poet of distinction. The poems included in The Mulgrave Road are chiefly drawn from his earlier collections, but it includes as well several previously unpublished poems.

Bruce was a regional writer of the finest calibre, able to bring vividly to the mind's eye the Nova Scotia he so loved. He was concerned with the lives of ordinary folk, recording their unremarkable ways at sea or ashore, in the open fields or in crowded parlours, at peace or on crowded wartime troopships crowded with half-frightened, half-excited young men steaming toward the unknown. The best description of Bruce's poetry is to be found in his own writings: ". . . Poetry (for me) is the art of striking sparks from the common and usual, the discovery of wonder and strangeness in the normal, and the skill to pass the news along." The wonder and the strangeness he certainly knew. Happily for the reader, Charles Bruce had indeed "the skill to pass the news along."

Joan McGrath, Toronto Board of Education, Toronto, Ont.
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