Six poetes anglophones du Quebec (Voix-off)

Description

175 pages
$14.95
ISBN 2-89135-009-X

Year

1985

Contributor

Julie Rekai Rickerd is a Toronto broadcaster and public relations
consultant.

Review

Voix-off, the poetry of ten anglophone poets of Quebec, purports to demonstrate the obvious differences between the French- and English-speaking poets of Quebec. Ironically, the English-speaking Quebeckers, or their families, all originate from Ontario, the United States, Italy, Scotland, Hungary, or Poland. According to not one but two introductions, by Antonio D’Alfonso and Claude Beausoleil respectively, these poets from the “backrooms” of French Canada have their own, special English language, an English removed from that which is practised in English Canada, the United States, and England. The English-speaking Quebec poets are said to be concerned with the “exterior” rather than the “interior” concerns of French-speaking Quebec poets. They are said to have a “territorial” command of the language that is “descriptive, lyrical and, often, reflective.”

The introductions, in French only (as are the biographies of the poets), are misleading and out of place in the otherwise bilingual volume. Each of the ten poets has his or her unique style, but it is not at all obvious that this style results from an English-speaking status in Quebec. Anne MacLean’s epic prose-poem, “The Diary of a Nun,” is compelling; Endre Farkas’s “Poem Proud Papa” is touching; Louis Dudek’s “Keewaydin Poems” weave an exotic tapestry of man and nature; Antonio D’Alfonso’s prose poems, “Man Alone,” are thoughtful and revealing.

Voix-off is a fine tribute to ten talented poets who write in English and also happen to live in Quebec. It is a mistake to search for political implications in a volume of pleasing works which should be viewed solely on its merit.

Citation

“Six poetes anglophones du Quebec (Voix-off),” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed February 25, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/35909.