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Finch, Robert.

Erin (Ont.), The Porcupine's Quill. c1984.92pp, paper, $7.95, ISBN 0-88984-065-2.

Grades 11 and up
Reviewed by Charles Mountford

Volume 13 Number 5
1985 September

As always, Robert Finch has produced an elegant and intelligent collection. The poems are difficult but they reward the careful reader. Unlike many modern poets, Finch is not afraid to adapt the traditional techniques of rhyme, rhythm, and formal structure to his own needs. It should be emphasized too that the technique does not get in the way of feeling. The poems are true poems not just technical exercises. The poems are also witty and clever but never cruel. His is a superb technique, but it is tempered with humanity and in several of the works there is a strong element of religion.

The poet is assured enough that he does not limit himself to single works but produces a number of linked poems as well. There is, for example, a series of eleven linked sonnets called "A Concise History of Correspondence" which deals with letters, letter writing, and the postal service. The subject matter sounds unpromising but Finch manages to produce works that are both witty and wise.

While the poems of Robert Finch are addressed to all they are not easy. They require close attention and a reasonable amount of insight and knowledge. Therefore, they would be of most use to advanced students of English in the senior grades of secondary school.

Charles Mountford, South Huron D.H.S., Exeter, Ont.
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