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Roo Borson

Toronto, McCelland and Stewart, 1989. 119pp, paper, $9.95
ISBN 0-7710-1588-7. CIP

Reviewed by Pat Bolger.

Volume 17 Number 4
1989 July

"To live it all again, but this time with full consciousness, saturated with consciousness"--the closing of the last piece in this collection - will bring a nod from most readers. In the sixty poems and twenty prose pieces here, Borson draws us into that "saturated consciousness," often conveying precisely observed detail through vivid imagery: "the rusted lashes or the rake," "insects sticking like magnets to the lit screens," "the pronged feet of a bird."

Her subjects are wide ranging, from friendship, death, love and Toronto to rubber boots, cats and the moon. The title poem, retracing an episode of depression, is about six pages long, but the other pieces run to a page or less.

Teenagers will enjoy "Rubber Boots," "False Spring," "Jogging" and "About the Cat," among others, and creative writers would like to compose their own litanies following the model in "Save Us From." The book's stark cover, the probably off-putting first poem, and mystifying illustrations (gloomy photographs of rocks) would not appeal to browsing teens, but teachers of English will find it an excellent resource.

Recommended for public libraries, where it will be well used by adult poetry readers, especially those who know Borson's work from periodicals such as Canadian Forum and Saturday Night and from her earlier collections, which include Rain (Penumbra, 1980), Night Walk (Missing Link Press, 1981), and The Transparence of November/Snow (Quarry Press, 1985).

Pat Bolger, Renfrew, Ont.
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