Surviving Words


105 pages
ISBN 0-919754-49-X
DDC C811'.54





Reviewed by Edward L. Edmonds

Edward L. Edmonds is a professor of education at the University of
Prince Edward Island.


Endre Farkas was born in Hungary in 1948 and subsequently escaped to the
West. The poems that make up this collection are expressions of
bitterness, outrage, horror, and degradation. Even the embrace of a son
(in “Father and Son”) cannot relieve the poet’s lexicon of
pessimism and gloom. His style matches his mood of angry cynicism:
short, whiplash phrases, the insistent refrain, occasional scatology,
whispers of the tragic Shakespeare. Farkas can be tersely epigrammatic,
as in “betrayal is always and everywhere.” Only rarely does he
permit himself a metaphor of natural beauty, as in “myriad of moist
tongue tips [of rain].” The cover design, by Christian Knudsen,
chillingly evokes one of the poet’s lines—“the echoes of dead


Farkas, Endre., “Surviving Words,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 23, 2024,