Life in Glass


ISBN 0-919285-25-2






Reviewed by Nora Drutz

Nora Drutz was a Toronto-based freelance writer.


Life in Glass is a book of love — of love ending, and memory beginning. Memory can be painful, bitter, guilt-ridden; yet the poet clings desperately to it as a symbol of hope. “i honour your memory /in a temple resonant with guilt /i gather the memories /of what i’ve done, hide behind the flames /i want to burn /on the cool altar of your flesh /stir my ashes /return to me your pain /i am transfixed /by the hope of restitution.” Although immersed in retrospection, she is yet able to maintain a wry humour, which allows her to stand back and laugh at herself, thus tempering her self-preoccupation. “Life is high art since you came on the scene /every sordid thing rates a poem /these days…” or “oh lover of the guilt-edged memory /remember me for this /the candled room, the canopied bed...”

The clarity of perception, a sense of verbal control and tightness, and a good sense of rhythm prevent the more dramatic imagery (the “wind” drawing “desperate fingers /tracing the introspective letters of your name…” for example) from becoming trite, or descending into gothicness or sentimentality. There are a few worn cliches, to be sure, a few too many “i’s”. Nevertheless, Life in Glass is a quiet, wistful, evocative book, dealing with the universal theme of love and love’s ending.


McAdam, Rhona, “Life in Glass,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 19, 2024,