CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Farkas, Endre.

Dorion (Quebec), The Muses' Co./La Compagnie des Muses, 1988. 76pp, paper, $10.00, ISBN 0-919754-13-9. Distributed by The Muses' Co./La Compagnie des Muses. 51 rue de 1'Eglise. Dorion. Que. J7V 1W5. CIP

Reviewed by Doug Watling

Volume 17 Number 1
1989 January

How To is the fifth collection of poetry by Endre Farkas, one of the founders of Montreal's Vehicule Press. It's a mixed bag of prose pieces, brief lyrics and more conventional verse. The poems are pensive and quite intensely emotional, but are often skewered by awkward diction and ungainly form.

A series of poems on impending birth flows much more lyrically, as does "First Snowfall," the only real nature poem here:

Fat flakes,
Butterflies of winter,

settle on our lashes
and cover our tracks like eiderdown.

Unfortunately, most of How To is erratic. A full ten poems of a quatrain or less have been included. All should have been edited out. Three poems about writing poems fall into the standard trap of self-parody. More positively, "Birthday Morning" and "Just Like a Man" feature Farkas' sure touch with irony. The final couplet of "Locks" is truly powerful and sinister:

There is a caged hate in here
And, silently, it is turning on you.

How to is a very uneven collection, which really has little utility in an educational setting. Its concerns are relationships and the sombre ironies of life. Other collections approach the same concerns with more incisiveness and verve.

Doug Watling, Toronto, Ont
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works