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POETRY 27 litterature dans les colleges, sur la gent etudiante et sur les rapports 'intimes' que les deux parties peuvent entretenir ... Tout est dans la maniere ... Dites-Ie avec des epines. Cote epines, Hebert est garni comme une pelote d'epingles. Tant pis pour ceux qu'il pique, Ie lecteur, sadique, sourit a s'en ankyloser les muscles des joues. On ne peut negliger, en dernier lieu, Ie deuxieme volet d'un cycle romanesque de Michel Tremblay amorce de fa~on fulgurante par La Grosse Femme d'iI.-cOtI! est enceinte, et poursuivi cette annee par Therese et Pierrefte tl /'ecole des Saints-Anges (Lemeac, 366). Meme observation precise de la vie quotidienne du Plateau Mont-Royal ou realisme et fantastique s'entremelent . Contrepoids ason univers dramatique. Meme capacite d'emotion que dans Ie premier volet. Meme qualite d'ecriture. Mais Ie chroniqueur vaut-ille dramaturge? Si son roman seduit, il ne Ie fait pas autant que ses meilleurs pieces. Voila un aper~u de quelques romans qui ont parseme une annee plutO! maigre. Ce n'est qu'une perception, la mienne, celle de quelqu'un qui pour avoir connu les annees de vaches grasses attend impatiemment leur retour. En attendant, les romans retenus m'auront permis de tromper mon attente. Poetry SANDRA 0JWA This year's poetry has a regional shape: small piles of books from Breakwater of Newfoundland and little presses in Quebec and Ontario, large bundles from Fiddlehead of New Brunswick, Turnstone of Manitoba , and Talonbooks of British Columbia. It may be the regional distribution of the little presses and the importance of landscape as symbol in some modern poetry which account for the fact that the celebration of region and of place, always significant in the Canadian tradition, is the most important category of poetry written in 1980. Both men and women poets write the landscape sequence, but where men tend to link the landscape with art and the process of creation, often finding in it a means of identifying themselves with a continuing tradition, women poets are more likely to write the landscape or settlement poem in relationship to a more personal discovery of identity, sometimes sexual and often feminist. Another major category is the mythological poem sequence, sometimes overlapping with the landscape poem. Such poems draw from classical myth, from more recondite Indian or Eskimo sources, and from the received myths of contemporary literature, notably T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land and Four Quartets. The celebration of place is, in some ways, the most interesting category 28 LETTERS IN CANADA 1980 of poetry written this year. Douglas Lochhead's High Marsh Road: Lines for a Diary (Anson-Cartwright Editions, 136, $8.95) is struclUled as a cycle of poems covering the last quarter of the year. At first this seems like a commonplace book, jottings for poems: simplified statements ('what behind eye'), minimal capitalization, and prose-like rhythms, all contribute to this impression. Curiously, these poems have a strong cumulative effect, expanding in the reader's consciousness. This is partly because of Lochhead's allusive technique but also because of his controlling poetic which, to rephrase Bachelard, might be called 'the poetics of small.' The poet's task is to see, the 'looking out' to find significant detail and to record the process of making: 'this is the place. the marsh. to / keep beginning from such horizons, / it is the fact, the main one.' In the minimal quality of this verse we sense that Lochhead has had enough of poetizing, the poet as 'bull in a word-shop: but that he still believes in poetry: there is a strong sense of the poet waiting for the voice to come, of the process of art: 'the real round of the saying never forms, / but the poet is constantly working, moulding / it closer and closer to the truth.' In exploring the processes 'behind' seeing Lochhead writes of the relation between life and art and the poet's struggle to order detail in such a way as to mediate between the two: 'the mind envelops. on the surface / everything moves to its / own level. now I see.' But seeing through Lochhead's poetic eye involves a...


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