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Tynes, Maxine.

Porters Lake (N.S.), Pottersfield Press, 1987. 71pp. paper, $7.95, ISBN 0-919001-38-6. Distributed by Potters-field Press, RR 2, Porters Lake, N.S. B0J 2S0. CIP

Grades 9 and up
Reviewed by Maryleah Otto

Volume 16 Number 2
1988 March

Borrowed Beauty is Maxine Tyne's first published volume of poetry. Individual works have appeared in literary magazines and on the CBC's "Anthology." She has also co-written and performed in a CBC Radio docu-drama based on the death of Stephen Biko, a Black anti-apartheid freedom fighter in South Africa.

Borrowed Beauty is, above all, a hymn to Black womanhood. Writing entirely in free verse, Tyne delves into themes that include apartheid, the peace movement, the women's movement and the Third World's suffering. There are also love poems, descriptive poems about the Maritimes, and personal reflections on family life and events that were current in 1985.

Some of the poems have compelling sound patterns, as in "Curbside Dance," and "Lost and Found." Tynes's language is strong, concise and clear. Almost all of the poems contain powerful emotional elements, but the collection is marred by the topicality of its references, many of which are too timely and local to remain of lasting interest. Tynes' greatest strength is her message rather than the skill with which she uses the medium. Borrowed Beauty would be a useful resource book for high school and college courses in Black literature or in Maritime studies. Public libraries needing additional material on east-coast poetry might also consider purchasing this title.

Maryleah Otto, St. Thomas, Ont.
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