COMPLETED FIELD NOTES: THE LONG POEMS OF ROBERT KROETSCH
Volume 17 Number 5
This is a book full of Robert Kroetsch. The field notes are his notes in an investigation of Kroetsch's origins, Kroetsch growing up, Kroetsch the man, Kroetsch the lover, Kroctsch the poet. And that's only the first hundred pages. Strange that so much of Kroetsch keeps us interested. It may be that we feel that we really are uncovering something in this dig. Part of the intrigue, too, is the novel laying-out of the finds. There are double columns of print, margin-annotated free verse, chunks of prose, unrhymed couplets, caesura-ed lines, italics, repetitions dancing on the page, and the whole thing taking on a lumbering life.In the second part, "Advice to My Friends," Kroetsch expands and adds Kroetsch the traveller, Kroetsch the knower of exotic women, Kroetsch the friend of other famous writers, and Kroetsch the father of two daughters. Even the name dropping is done well. Students who take the journey and keep their minds open will find the bones of novels in some of the long poems. In the last part, "Country & Western," there are a number of epigrammatic excerpts. "I can no longer keep a journal. My life erases everything I write," is Kroetsch full of wisdom, the post-poet moving on to that scary reward, "poet's silence." A rewarding addition to the Canadian poetry section for senior students.
Ian Dempsey, Cambridge, ON.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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