Private Eye,


64 pages
ISBN 1-896860-91-5
DDC C811'.6





Olga Costopoulos teaches English at the University of Alberta.


Private Eye is remarkably surefooted for a first book. Morton’s
imagination is as individual as her vision of the world, and she shares
that vision with her readers, in a usually charming and occasionally
funny way. The subject matter ranges from lunch with a group of friends
at a trendy restaurant (with a suitably satirical view of the occasion
and its menu) to memory and the loss of loved ones.

Morton is at her best when her subject matter is less personal. In her
more personal poems, she often goes for the easy emotional tug. And,
while we can admire a poem that includes “[m]otorcycle wind, sweet
woodruff, / salt marsh, / columbine” in the same image cluster, that
poem falters with a predictably maudlin end. The other literary offence
that irritates is the dedication of certain poems to other poets, in
particular to the one who has provided a blurb. However, the collection
on the whole has merit, and is a fine start to a literary life.


Morton, Wendy., “Private Eye,,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 25, 2024,