Here Is My Street, This Tree I Planted

Description

60 pages
$16.95
ISBN 1-55022-648-7
DDC C811'.6

Publisher

Year

2004

Contributor

Ronald Charles Epstein is a Toronto-based freelance writer and published poet.

Review

Former Sydney resident Jonathan Bennett may choose to live in Port Hope,
Ontario, but his observation that “[i]n Australia, they are on to
aperitifs” asserts that his homeland is a cosmopolitan one. Here Is My
Street, This Tree I Planted showcases this poet’s culture and
background. He celebrates “Gunnamatta Bay” with his reference to
“the aboriginal-/Gun-na-mat-ta.” In “The Geopolitics of School
Shoes,” he mentions “a Holden V8!” Canadians may be puzzled, but
Australians will recognize the name of a familiar automobile.

Bennett may have been the “Dumb Aussie!” who fell in the Ontario
snow, but he is now a fully acculturated Canadian who expertly examines
his adopted country. He describes “Ontarians drinking Labatt’s 50 /
in their driveways, without downtown irony,” proving that he truly
understands his province.

“The New Normal” begins with surprise, but ends with insight. The
title suggests 9/11, but the phrase “the brave mayor thumbs up local
dim sum” does not glorify former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani;
rather, it mocks Toronto’s Mel Lastman. This poem deals with that
city’s SARS crisis, but the lesson is the same: collective disasters
diminish us all.

Bennett’s verse may not be widely read, but it should be thoroughly
examined.

Citation

Bennett, Jonathan., “Here Is My Street, This Tree I Planted,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 17, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/16357.