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Lorna Crozier

Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, 1988. 157pp, paper, $9.95
ISBN 0-7710-2476-2. CIP

Reviewed by Warner Winter.

Volume 17 Number 4
1989 July

Lorna Crozier, one of Canada’s most respected poets, has been called by Margaret Laurence “a poet to be grateful for.” Angels of Flesh, Angels of Silence, her seventh book of poetry, reinforces this compliment. "The Angels of Silence" section won the CBC Radio Literary Competition in 1987 and a selection of Chilean poems was part of a radio script written with Pat Lane (to whom the book, in part, is dedicated) and won the Best Program Award at the National Radio Awards, 1988.

Recently, Lorna Crazier read from this book at Toronto's Harbourfront and the poems that sparked the most enthusiastic audience response were from a section called "The Penis Poems," which deals with a somewhat unexpected and unpoetic topic. One is reminded of Pompeii, where Roman civilization considered the penis differently from ours: an object of fun, amusement, tenderness, good luck and not simply as a dirty joke or an object for pornography. Generally, Crozier has fun with her subject. She even has a poem based on an Indian story about a penis that grows wings ("Penis/Bird").

Crozier's writing is always daring and honest. Her style is never forced, artificial or deceptive. She feels deeply about many things-personal, social and political-and this care comes through in her poems. They read easily despite their intelligence. It's too bad that the "Penis" section means this interesting and provocative book will make it into only those places where the librarians have courage.

Warner Winter, Emery Collegiate, North York, Ont.
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