Keeping Afloat


92 pages
ISBN 1-55071-131-8
DDC C811'.54





Olga Costopoulos teaches English at the University of Alberta.


M. Travis Lane, one of Canada’s finest poets, writes from the
perspective of Fredericton, but her window is on the entire world. She
is immensely learned in literature and painting and philosophy. In this
book she writes about Dickinson and Melville and Carlyle as easily as
she writes about the birds and plants of New Brunswick. And questions of
literary theory and experiment interest her as well: she wants to
challenge some of the fashionable formulas without being merely
reactionary, saying in “A Reader’s Deductions” that “[t]oday is
new to the old; yesterday is new to the young. What is wholly familiar
no longer is true.” The opening pages confront illness and mortality
with clear eyes, making the title of her book especially significant.
The speaker understands the power of death and still affirms the power
of life. This compact collection is filled with riches.


Lane, M. Travis., “Keeping Afloat,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 25, 2024,