Gearing of Love: Poems and Photographs


64 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-88962-248-5






Reviewed by G. Sheldon Fischer

G. Sheldon Fischer was a Toronto-based editor.


Oughton begins this, only his second book of poetry in eleven years, with an eight-poem set written during a term teaching English in Japan. While several of the pieces have the proverb-like sparseness of a Zen maxim, others record the humour of his reaction to people of a foreign culture, and their reaction to him.

In the poems of the second section, “In Still Life,” the author continues to display a gentle touch. These poems capture stray moments in his or other people’s lives, some mundane, some significant steps on the way to maturity, but each handled with warm understanding and a deft poetic touch.

The last section, “Love over Death,” is like the second in style and tone, with a slightly more serious vein running through it: here he faces sex, aging, and death head on, and integrates them into the wider patterns of our life.

Oughton’s own photographs,interspersed through the book, nicely complement the text. I get the impression of a poet who has bided his time, who has not struggled unduly for profundity, and who has consequently written accessible, refreshing poetry, poetry that a wide range of readers could enjoy. In my estimation, this is a worthwhile achievement.


Oughton, John, “Gearing of Love: Poems and Photographs,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 20, 2024,