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Cosier, Tony.

Perth (Ont.), Anthos Books, 1987. 58pp, paper, $7.95. ISBN 0-920798-05-5. (Apple Poet series 2). Distributed by Anthos Books, Box 666, Perth. Ont. K7H 3K5.

Reviewed by Pat Bolger

Volume 17 Number 1
1989 January

Cosier, a teacher of high school English, has gathered here a varied assortment of poems (some previously published in various poetry journals). One section, "Soldiers," has a dozen short poems revealing his hatred of war; "Learning Loving" and "The Map of the Stars Against the Photograph" lull the reader with a low-key start, effectively setting up the ambush in their last few lines.

In "The Massacre of the Innocents," the long work which closes the collection, the weight of his argument sometimes forces him down to a jarring prose: "I know the Soviets have a potent force/ and feel they are afraid." Elsewhere, there are flashes of striking impact, like "poison wind/ May breathe the writhing adders down the rain." A number of poems such as "Claiming Country" and "Lessoning Ground" reflect Cosier's interest in nature.

Although free verse predominates, there are some traditional forms as well, with a couple of skilful sonnets, "Late Sunlight on a Ridge of Snow" and "Southpaw," a thirteen-liner that will delight baseball fans. This interesting collection has a very attractive cover and will appeal to student writers as well as to those in search of poems on the themes of war and disarmament. Public libraries will find that Anthos Books' two series ("Apple Poet" and "Valley Poets") are well established with their patrons, ensuring interest in this and future volumes as they appear.

Pat Bolger, Renfrew, Ont.
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