Budavox Poems (1990-1999)


92 pages
ISBN 0-919688-46-2
DDC C811'.54






Reviewed by Edward L. Edmonds

Edward L. Edmonds is a professor of education at the University of
Prince Edward Island and an honorary chief of the Mi’kmaq of Prince
Edward Island.


This is Todd Swift’s first book of poetry, and clearly for him
“life’s at the morn.” Like many first books, this one ranges
through a variety of styles and forms, encapsulating different attitudes
and philosophical stances. There is evidence of concentrated critical
intelligence at work throughout, complemented by strong personal
feelings. The poems do not appear to be arranged in chronological order,
which might have given readers a better sense of Swift’s development.

His own wide reading is evident in his frequent references, direct and
indirect, to European literature. He is a poet of differing moods:
satirical in “Gorazde,” philosophical in “Making Arrangements,”
suggestively erotic in “Notes on Helen” (“Heaven loiters in her
thighs”). But for pure Gallic wit, no poem rivals his “Ten Rose

The book is well designed, with bold titles serving to focus the
reader’s attention. Occasionally, one feels a need for a few short
footnotes, but perhaps Swift prefers his readers to make their own


Swift, Todd., “Budavox Poems (1990-1999),” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 12, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/31145.