From Here to Here

Description

Contains Illustrations
$4.00
ISBN 0-919754-00-7

Author

Publisher

Year

1982

Contributor

Reviewed by Nora Drutz

Nora Drutz was a Toronto-based freelance writer.

Review

This little collection of 15 poems and prose stanzas is Endre Farkas’s fourth book of poetry. The title, From Here To Here, and the cover depicting a map (fantasy or real?), an imaginary route traced in magic marker, and armoured hands breaking through the paper, one clutching a rose, suggest the idea of a journey or quest. This is borne out by the first poem “... and”: “... and I begin here, in the middle of the night, in the middle of a / thought ... And thinking on how zen I’ve become since / coming back from out there, I write on ... / and I flew out there to be away from here: to be there / ... and there I lived in a room and wrote about back here: about a / house I did not want, a love I hated and a life that wasn’t.” In the course of the journey the poet comes to a sort of mental catharsis which he sums up in the final lines of this poem: “and she … said that she / constructed her life by improvising with what she had. And she led / me back a different way: in the silence of uphill / ... and every morning I wrote about the senses being the sensation, about how the stretch stretches from here to here / ... and here, amid the rubble, the present touches light / and ...”. The rest of the book deals for the most part with the destructive relationship — the tensions and mounting hatred between himself and his lover, which necessitated the journey in the first place.

I have read two of Farkas’s three other works, and I find this one disappointing in comparison. The conversational style, with its run-on sentences, repetitions, and simplistic contrasts, borders on the prosaic; the constant abbreviation of the ampersand gives the work the look of those experimental ‘60s poems. Yet I like Farkas’s vitality; his celebration of life; his reverence of the ordinary. This spirit is most evident in “I am calling you” and “Tree Planting,” the two best poems in this collection. In “Tree Planting,” he equates the planting of a tree with the ritual of the family, conception, and growth, which is what life is really all about. “It’s about family / It’s about stepping back / and making a silent blessing / over something that is clean / It’s about washing up, / entwining / It’s about flowering.”

Citation

Farkas, Endre, “From Here to Here,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 14, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/38507.