95 pages
ISBN 0-921833-76-8
DDC C811'.54






Olga Costopoulos teaches English at the University of Alberta.


Dungenessque is a very anecdotal collection of narrative poems that put
one in mind of Leonard Bernstein’s response to an interviewer who had
asked him, “‘Maestro, why do you pursue three separate careers? You
are a conductor, a composer, and a pianist.’ ‘That’s easy,’ came
the response. ‘This way, if people say I’m a lousy pianist, I have
the excuse that I’m a conductor.’” This is not to say that
Charach’s poems are uniformly bad. They are merely written too much
from the physician’s perspective.

Like many physician-authors before him, Charach suffers from the
compulsion—iatrogenic?—to make sure his readers remain conscious of
their status as “the laity” and equally conscious of his superior
status. The poems comment, sometimes with some sensitivity, on the human
condition, but they never convince us of the good doctor’s sympathy
(never mind empathy) for his fellow creatures. The final insult is the
“Brief Glossary of Non-English Terms Not Translated in the Poems.”


Charach, Ron., “Dungenessque,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 25, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/9132.