This Won't Last Forever


64 pages
ISBN 0-919285-31-7






Reviewed by Charles R. Steele

Charles R. Steele was Associate Professor of English at the University of Calgary.


Though this is Colin Morton’s third volume, it is still slight verse, without significant advance upon his earlier work. His subjects and sentiments are still those of an immature imagination fascinated by verbal play for its own sake (in poems such as “Moon Rose,” “For Mary Lee,” or “To be plus seven”) and failing to exploit properly the possibilities in such play when the subject is substantial, as in “Testimony of a James Bay Cree.” The adolescent fascination with sexuality is also reflected in many of Morton’s poems, though there is an attempt to polish it with an also conventional world-weariness. Sentimentality is, unfortunately, merely heightened, not avoided, by such a strategy. His related concerns with the incursions of time are, consequently, both emotionally and aesthetically dulled. That Morton’s attention is fixed upon the mundane is not in itself a difficulty, but that he too frequently and too flatly belabors the obvious, the clichéd, is. Occasionally, as in “Thoughts across a bridge” or “A turn of season” or in the light but successfully humorous “17 jewels/Timex,” one gets a glimpse of a potentially successful poetic craftsman, but these glimpses are, finally, glimpses only.



Morton, Colin, “This Won't Last Forever,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 19, 2024,