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Souster, Raymond.

Ottawa, Oberon Press, c1986. 136pp, paper, ISBN 0-88750-613-5 (cloth) $23.95, 0-88750-614-3 (paper) $12.95.

Grades 10 and up
Reviewed by Grace Shaw

Volume 14 Number 6
1986 November

Poetry, the elusive rose. Raymond Souster still writes beautiful touching poetry, thank goodness, after having been in print for over forty years. This collage of succinct and diverse impressions is his first collection of short lyrics in recent years, as he has been concentrating on longer and more specific poems. "It Takes All Kinds" (of people to make up our crazy, loveable world) is full of gentle irony and touching nostalgia conveying a lifetime of experience, joy, and pain in a few simple words. It is easy to see that he has always been an influence on and encourager of young poets; the disarming use of the commonplace, the economical use of words, not one wasted and every one in its right place, is a lesson to all scribes.

The reader experiences the immediacy, the startling revelation of the commonplace. A retrospective tome, "It Takes All Kinds" captures the imagery of the twentieth century, the soul of Toronto. Acknowledging his partners in the formidable trio of the 1950s, Dudek and Layton, Souster pays special tribute to the one and only Alden Nowlan.

The book has touches for the so-called in people, but, as always, Souster communicates with the average reader. The reviewer cannot capture the variety, the feelings, the sense of wonder, of pain, the startling touch.; read for yourself and enjoy.

Grace Shaw, Vancouver C.C., Vancouver. B.C.
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