Apostrophes: Woman at a Piano


72 pages
ISBN 0-9699904-0-5
DDC C811'.54





Reviewed by Don Precosky

Don Precosky teaches English at the College of New Caledonia and is the
co-editor of Four Realities: Poets of Northern B.C.


The title of this collection of poems suits its mood perfectly. An
“apostrophe” is an address to an absent person, and these meditative
and elegiac poems are all about absence, loss, and longing. “There was
no sound within the air, all the bells mute, no one / to give absence
shape. When you left, you entered that abyss / where no birds sing. If
there are lakes, the lakes are black. / But somewhere held in summer’s
arms, lovers lie embraced, eyes / bursting with tears that are roses in
the sun” (“Rites”).

All of the poems have in common a long, slow rolling line that is like
the tide coming in, inevitable yet almost imperceptible. Although almost
every poem is excellent in its own right, there is something oppressive
about the collection as a whole. Reading page after page of those
stretched horizontal lines brings to mind the drive from Calgary to
Moose Jaw; you’re initially awed by the fact that you can see so far
and so clearly, but you wind up wanting the trip to end.


Blodgett, E.D., “Apostrophes: Woman at a Piano,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 12, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/4089.