The End of Ice


67 pages
ISBN 0-86492-054-7




Reviewed by Martin Singleton

Martin Singleton was a poet living in Toronto.


This is the latest book from the founder of Pottersfield Press, who is also a prolific author in his own right.

As one might expect from a Maritime poet, references to nature — especially in its more unattractive meteorological manifestations — abound. Choyce’s admiration for his peers is evident: “the beauty of it is / they all survive here / and burn off the grey / with their own cold persistence.” He continually examines his psyche as it reacts to the external environment (which here assumes somewhat the weight that intra- or interpersonal events take in confessional poetry). The results are not always poetry: “years of living with such cold grace / have altered my genealogy / and erased the etchings / of brief religions.” Images are both Choyce’s strength and his major weakness. He can be quite marvellous, especially in longer poems such as “Snow,” “Inside the Arboreal Embassy,” “Driving the Crow to Halifax,” and the title poem. Unfortunately, too many of the shorter pieces are overly cute, vague, or slight, a mere potpourri of eleven words and flamboyant images brilliant as fireworks, that leave only a deeper appreciation for space and quiet.


Choyce, Lesley, “The End of Ice,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 23, 2024,