What Happens at Canals


46 pages
ISBN 1-894469-06-2
DDC C811'.6






Olga Costopoulos teaches English at the University of Alberta.


This volume’s low-key title fits the tone of Sam Difalco’s poems. He
relies on small epiphanies and restrained meditations, with the inner
world and the outer getting roughly equal attention. He tends to create
little fables or allegories rather than to transcribe experience. This
turn away from anecdote toward the universal keeps him out of the ruts
into which so much contemporary poetry falls. Here and there an
intimation of the darker side of life comes to the surface, as in the
muted apocalypse of “Take the Black Barge,” a poem in which the
world is drowned in a black binge that manages to be sweet and without
any apparent hangover. He is adept at the use of form, and nearly every
poem falls very naturally into stanzas without any sense of strain. The
book is remarkably mature for a first collection. Perhaps he will
eventually raise his voice a little and make everyone listen.


Difalco, Sam., “What Happens at Canals,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 25, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/9130.