Starting from Promise


80 pages
ISBN 1-896647-52-9
DDC C811'.54





Olga Costopoulos teaches English at the University of Alberta.


As poet Harold Rhenisch explains in his lengthy introduction, Dufour was
a student of modern poetry and a philosophy teacher before he went into
the woods in the Cariboo Region, where he works as a horse logger.
Dufour started graduate work on the poetry of William Carlos Williams at
Simon Fraser University, and the clear, direct style of Williams is
apparent in his poems. He is also influenced by Al Purdy’s casual air
and meandering narrative style.

Most of the poems in Starting with Promise are set in the British
Columbia wilderness (with occasional forays into art and literature) and
they have an enjoyable freshness. Not so enjoyable is the use of trite
phrases (“a moment’s notice,” “perfect sense”) and overworked
adjectives like “wonderful” and “some.” Is it useful to speak of
snow “quietly tumbling down,” when snow is quiet anyway and
doesn’t tumble? The anecdotal easiness of the writing would not suffer
from judicious cutting. The interest in the poems lies more in their
subject matter than in their commitment to words.


Dufour, Lorne., “Starting from Promise,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 25, 2024,