Coming to Terms


ISBN 0-961886-0-9






Reviewed by Michael O. Nowlan

Michael O. Nowlan was a teacher and writer in Oromocto, New Brunswick.


Many poetic voices in this country have not been very prolific; nor have they generated great followings. Jack Brooks is one of these. Brooks, who spent over 30 years in radio and television writing, broadcasting, and producing for CFCF in Montreal, now spends his time as a free-lance writer. His verse, however, is deserving of much wider attention. Although Coming to Terms is only his second book, it has a depth of poetic utterance usually found in the seasoned published poet.

Divided into two sections — “Arrivals and Departures” and “Lovers & Other Heroes” — Coming to Terms is a collection that focuses on the everyday thoughts and emotions of one who has at last come to terms with his existence.

Some of these poems reflect the direct influence of Dylan Thomas, whose “Fern Hill” is obviously a favourite of Brooks. “Links” and “Caravan” both illustrate the Thomas-type imagery, and, of course, so does “Those Feet That Trod Fern Hill.” The references here are effective and sharp.

In the second section, Brooks reveals the gentleness of the lover “only too grateful to shame / the same air you breathe / not too far away.” He also shows how the hero is “powerless to escape / a cage of flesh and bone.” These are very moving poems that reflect human experience. They are a confident voice of one “who loves in man’s imperfect way / and learns his love / is not enough.” Poet and lover seek perfection in an imperfect world. Brooks handles his tasks with delicate expertise.




Brooks, Jack, “Coming to Terms,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 14, 2024,