Moving Landscape


46 pages
ISBN 0-919349-59-5





Reviewed by Neil Querengesser

Neil Querengesser taught in the Department of English, University of Calgary, Alberta.


Moving Landscape is Verdicchio’s first book of poetry. Although it is a rather slim volume (22 short poems and one long one from which the book takes its title), it is a promising one. The quiet selection with which the collection begins, “Red-Winged Blackbird,” is appropriate: “Wind. Wind /and wings of birds. /A red-winged blackbird /sparks against the sky /and green shrubs; /comes to rest in the safety /of calls that break /against our words, /clear and intelligible words, /and light the evening /with the fire of meaning.”

Verdicchio has observed that his poetry reflects “the uncontrollable moving that everything does in relation to a stationary ‘I’.” Indeed, there is considerable movement in his poetry in terms of subject matter and location; the landscape shifts from poem to poem — from Spain to Mexico, from the desert to the ocean. Sometimes the landscape is sharply defined; at other times it is unfamiliar and ambiguous. Even Verdicchio’s “stationary ‘I’” does not always remain stationary. Although the voice can claim in the opening lines of “Moving Landscape,” “‘I am the only man missing /from the landscape /of a ready-made history,” a poem such as “Kafka: House in the Country” would suggest a much more complex relationship between the observer and the observed: “I rush toward things feeling their movement /in my veins, my heart pumping rapids /rushing to fill that space that the river leaves /as it moves toward the sea.” Overall, these complexities and the demonstrated control of technique combine with the subject matter to make this a satisfying first volume of poems.


Verdicchio, Pasquale, “Moving Landscape,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 20, 2024,