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Raymond Souster.

Ottawa, Oberon Press, c1982.
349pp, paper, $25.95 (cloth), (paper) $12.95.
ISBN 0-88750424-8 (cloth), 0-88750425-6 (paper).

Grades 11 and up.
Reviewed by C. H. Mountford.

Volume 11 Number 3.
1983 May.

This is an excellent collection and should be purchased by every school library. There is an astonishing amount of poetry here, particularly when one realizes that it represents the work of twelve years only. Not many of the pieces are great poems, but some are (the most that can be said of the work of any poet), and the rest are interesting or charming or funny.

Raymond Souster is an important poet in the history of Canadian literature and should be represented in the most basic library collection of Canadian writing. His themes are at the same time regional and universal; his language is that of everyday conversation. There is a poem in this collection for everyone no matter what his or her taste or intelligence.

Souster sees the world through Canadian eyes, and his voice speaks of Canada to the world. He writes of the Second World War ("The Dresden Special"), of Toronto ("Kensington Market"), of other Canadian poets ("Gwendolyn MacEwen at the Bohemian Embassy") and of baseball ("The Last Batter"). His themes are many, and his language is varied as he tries out different techniques. Souster is not afraid to take a chance. Each of his poems is a poem because he demonstrates his willingness to step off the edge into the unknown. Recommended for all school libraries and for adult readers as well.

C. H. Mountford, F. E. Madill S. S., Wingham, ON.
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