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Glen Sorestad
Saskatoon (Sask.), Thistledown Press, 1991. 64pp, paper, $11.00
ISBN 0-920633-87-0. C1P


Reviewed by L. Maignon

Volume 20 Number 3
1992 May

With the publication of Wind Songs (Thistledown Press, 1975) andAncestral Dances (Thistledown Press, 1979), Glen Sorestad established himself as a major force in prairie poetry. Since then he has produced some eighteen collections of poetry, each of which explores the vibrant relation between the individual and the land. The latest collection, West into Night, is a two-part juxtaposition of the metaphysical condition of man and the poet's own confrontation with the cyclicity of personal memory.

West into Night," the title of the final poem of the first part, plays a pivotal role in the transition between the two parts, "What Brings us Back" and "Circles." What brings us back is the continuity of the cycles of the land and our identification with it. "West into Night" concludes with two verses that powerfully sum up the indelible presence of the memory's continuity as the ground of reality: "Ice speaks the language of long night./ West, you must always fly to night."

Those verses introduce the second part, "Circles," which explores the flood of memories that shapes the narrator's present as a cyclic parallel to his own fatherhood and grandfatherhood.

The combination of personal memory and intimacy with the land reaches very satisfy­ing planes in Sorestad.

An excellently crafted and clearly printed volume.

L. Maignon, University of Western Ontario, London, Ont.

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1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


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