Azure

Description

95 pages
$12.00
ISBN 1-55071-190-3
DDC C811.6

Author

Publisher

Year

2004

Contributor

Reviewed by Bert Almon

Bert Almon is a professor of English at the University of Alberta. He is
the author of Calling Texas, Earth Prime, and Mind the Gap.

Review

Brian Day’s collection begins with a miscellany of poems about
homoerotic love, travel, and myth, written in fairly lush and romantic
style. The bulk of the book is devoted to a retelling of Hindu myths;
several on Krishna, an avatar of Vishnu, bring in Jesus as if he were a
Hindu deity. Most of these poems are well-wrought lyrics or brief
narratives. The longest, “Rama and Sita,” takes up almost half the
book. Its style is more pedestrian than the earlier poems in the
collection, and the reader would probably get more from a prose
retelling close to the original sources.

Day adds some feminist touches to the rather painful story of Rama’s
rejection of his wife, Sita, for her sojourn with a demon who kidnaps
her: in other words, Rama blames the victim. Day’s retelling clearly
shows sympathy for Sita, who bears her rejection with dignity and
self-assertion. Day wants to present Sita as a strong feminist,
empowered and possessed of selfrespect. His portrayal is only a little
anachronistic: more anachronisms might have revitalized the story.
Unfortunately, Day has not found an adequate language for bringing an
ancient Hindu story into the present. Day has talents, but has not
applied them convincingly here.

Citation

Day, Brian., “Azure,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 20, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/16367.