Gran, the Maledictions


58 pages
ISBN 0-9685257-4-1
DDC C811'.6





Reviewed by Bert Almon

Bert Almon is a professor of English at the University of Alberta. He is
the author of Calling Texas, Earth Prime, and Mind the Gap.


David Huggett’s conception in his title sequence is a good one: the
narrator finds that an eccentric old woman he met on a city bus can
serve as his muse. She is raucous, given to cursing, fully aware of the
mundane images of urban life. The two have some rollicking discussions
about poetry. Though these poems are constricted by their minimalist
form and style, the tone is brisk, an exuberant in-your-face celebration
of poetry as a brazen art of self-expression. Blake once said, “Damn
brace. Bless relaxes.” The maledictions in his title, Huggett implies,
are really blessings: the tensions of experience turn into the dynamic
poise of art.

The other sequence, “Holding Hands,” is a less successful evocation
of a childhood in the polluted environment of Trail, British Columbia.
The poet recalls nostalgically moments of holding hands with a childhood
friend as they experience the beauty of snow in the acrid atmosphere of
a refinery town. The friend is now “a shadow / on the face of time.”
Huggett’s book is a fine debut.


Huggett, David., “Gran, the Maledictions,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 16, 2024,