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Cook, Gregory M.

Porters Lake (N.S.), Pottersfield Press. 1987. 73pp. paper. $8.95, ISBN 0-919001-44-0. Distributed by Pottersfield Press. RR 2, Porters Lake, N.S. BOJ 2S0. CIP

Grades 11 and up
Reviewed by Donna Doyle

Volume 17 Number 1
1989 January

This is Greg Cook's fourth book of poetry and the first in a series of poetic diaries. The poet gives a thought-provoking view in "My Window." with its metaphor of earth as a woman "suckling its descendants/until milk turns to myth."

"The Hospital Garden" warns man not to cultivate this Garden (earth) "out of recognition." It ends with a series of verses with a lyrical, native rhythm, calling for a return to a more natural way of life:

Fast-running brook bring me a fish
Quick-growing tree make me a basket

Broad-leafing branch shade my mill
Thick-growing thorn guard my garden.

"Dreams tones" is an epic poem, which begins with an invocation seeking a clear vision of the past, a sharing of Indian heritage. The tragedy of the white man's take-over of Indian land, culture, religion is brutally evident: "We give away everything but our children."

This is a very small taste of "My Diary of Earth." The layout of the book is pleasing to the eye. The imagery is unique and abundant. References to earth delight the car. Cook uses repetition like an ancient drumbeat to echo his message from verse to verse. Greg Cook's voice is strong, clear, colourful and illuminating.

Donna Doyle, Richmond County, N.S.
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