In the Spirit of the Times


41 pages
ISBN 0-919754-06-6






Reviewed by Lynne Kositsky

Lynne Kositsky was a poet in Toronto.


The poetry and short prose poems of In the Spirit of the Times resonate with talent. They deserve to be read and reread in order to savour their excellence of image and strength yet delicacy of emotion. Ken Norris is a fine poet who speaks most eloquently when describing the sense of lost opportunity, even nothingness, which accompanies spiritual middle age, believing that “This is the present tense/only once, and until now [he has] been a spectator/wasting [his] heart on impressions and false allegiances ... “Even clichés have their place in these poems, adding as they do to the burden of resignation which often weighs down the words.

Although much of this collection concerns relationships which have over the years lost momentum to habit or sexual politics, Norris is one of the very few Canadian poets who is not afraid to write lyrically about love, and should be applauded for his uncommon ability to separate sentiment from sentimentality. The results are often iridescent poems which glow with the half life of lost love.


Norris, Ken, “In the Spirit of the Times,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 20, 2024,