Impromptu Feats of Balance

Description

80 pages
$9.00
ISBN 0-919897-18-5
DDC C811'.54

Publisher

Year

1990

Contributor

Reviewed by Don Precosky

Don Precosky teaches English at the College of New Caledonia in Prince
George.

Review

Impromptu Feats of Balance is a collection of personal lyrics about
everyday things: family, parties, and, most of all, the dating game.

“Mores” is an interesting poem. The point it makes—that we
condemn some practices in other cultures as wrong or perverse while our
culture does much the same things and accepts them as normal—is pretty
safe and unexceptional stuff, but the telling of it is outstanding,
maybe because Redhill moves beyond himself as subject (though he is
included) to a larger social view, whereas he’s normally quite
narcissistic: “The feet of Chinese women / are canned in shoes / too
small. They hobble / daintily pictures / of womanhood. The / prostitutes
in Singapore / give better head. Their teeth / have been removed. /
Body-hatred. // So we say. Yet our jaws / have been reset into / more
pleasing positions. / Fathers correct their / daughters’ underbites, I
/ seek a wife, you have / a dainty high-heeled gait. We / cut the
instinct off / our pets—better / for polite company— / pin our ears
back, / remove ribs enlarge breasts, seclude the perverse / in halfway
houses and literature // and judge and judge / until our tongues /
should fall off with / disavowals, but don’t are / sewn down in our
mouths / attractive, fashionable / and nice.”

This is an apprentice’s book. It will be interesting to see if
Redhill lives up to his promise.

Citation

Redhill, Michael., “Impromptu Feats of Balance,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 25, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/10444.