According to Loon Bay


96 pages
ISBN 0-9735910-0-5
DDC C811'.54




Reviewed by Susan McKnight

Susan McKnight is an administrator of the Courts Technology Integrated Justice Project at the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General.


Hannah Main-Van Der Kamp writes intriguing poetry. Her poems have a
distinct sense of deeply felt Christian belief; at the same time, she
writes about nature and the animal kingdom with a decidedly earthly
appreciation. These two approaches blend into powerful images and an
intense spirituality.

The majority of the poems are based on the parables of Jesus. For her
novel interpretation, the poet acknowledges the work of Robert Farrar
Capon, author of The Parables of Grace, and Tim Lilburn, author of
Living in the World as If It Were Home.

Part 1, “At Loon Bay,” is mainly concerned with nature from an
artist’s perspective. Each of the poems in Part 2 (“Sliammon Sam and
the Man Who Fell among Thieves”) relates to the “man who fell among
thieves.” Part 3, “The Book of Tremolos and Quavers,” reflects the
influence of Capon, with the last poem (“Let Quavers Calm You”)
offering some wonderful advice: “there are two choices: fight / or let
the water give you flight, lift you like a leaf / and put you down on
the other side. The hardest things / are often the easiest. Panic / and
you sink. So let the tumult and agitation put you / almost on your
feet.” Part 4, “The Realm of Great Loon,” brings everything back
to the mix of nature and spirituality that began the collection.

Main-Van Der Kamp is an accomplished poet who tackles difficult
subjects with graceful ease. Her poetry yields fresh insights with each


Main-Van Der Kamp, Hannah J., “According to Loon Bay,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 15, 2024,