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Cameron, Anne.

Madeira Park (B.C.), Harbour Publishing, 1987. 160pp, paper, $8.95, ISBN 0-920080-91-X.CIP

Reviewed by Pat Bolger

Volume 15 Number 6
1987 November

Best known for TV and movie scripts (including Dreamspeaker,* Ticket to Heaven and Homecoming), Cameron has also published collections of Indian legends, novels, and an earlier book of poetry, Earth Witch (Harbour Publishing, 1982). The first part of this collection is centred on Cameron's sense of alienation—her own and all women's—in a male-dominated society. She frequently relies here on West Coast Indian mythology (some of it rather obscure for the average reader), but "Stained Glass and Vaulted Ceiling" is a mercilessly glear and unadorned recollection of a young girl's loss of faith on being told that she could never "be anything/except a nun." Wry humour emphasizes the point: "I grew up knowing poverty/. . . If chastity and obedience/were anything similar/I wasn't interested." Tributes to goddesses comprise the section "Mother of All." along with found poems from Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets (Harper and Row, 1983). The final section has sharp social observation in "February" and "Milly." Love poems like "When Next in Soft Dark or Bright Light" are powerful celebrations of lesbian love. Cameron closes the collection with "If I Was Ten My Brother Was Seven. . .," a moving tribute to her mother, the "Annie" of the title. This handsomely produced volume will appeal mainly to women concerned with feminist issues; a few of the poems, especially "Milly" and "If I Was Ten. . ." would work well in senior high school English classes.

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

*Reviewed vol. VII/2 Spring 1978 p.92.

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