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Stratford (Ont.), Mercury Press/The League of Canadian Poets, 1990. 94pp, paper, $9.95, ISBN 0-920544-76-2
Distributed by Mercury Press, P.O. Box 446, Stratford, Ontario N5A6T3. CIP

Grades 11 and up/Ages 16 and up
Reviewed by John Bainbridge.

Volume 19 Number 2
1991 March

More Garden Varieties Two is an anthology of fifty poems selected from the thousands of entries to the League of Canadian Poets National Poetry Con­test. The collection is a mix of the work of new and established writers. As such the anthology is representative of some of the best in contemporary Canadian poetry.

Regrettably, too many of the poems rely on eccentricities of grammar and punctuation rather than on mastery of the language. Many of the selections are quite disturbing and even unpleasant such as that which placed second - "The Craving of Knives": "...Each one wants to open mouths along wrists, across neck" - or "Album": "Begin with Great Grandfather's bloody hand trapped under a cartwheel, his mouth unhinged in pain, his knees awry."

In general, with the exception of a few "gems" such as "Sweet Sixteen" by Lesley Anne Bourne, this collection of poems contains too many examples of contrived and obscure writing and it is, accordingly, rather tedious.

John Bainbridge, Beatty-Fleming Senior Public School, Brampton, Ont.
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