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Review of Radio Silence

Review by George E. Clarke. In Books In Canada, v.22(3) April, 1993 pg 53-54


Bruce Meyer follows in the erudite poetic tradition of R. A. D. Ford, Louis Dudek, and Ralph Gustafson. The Toronto poet is intrigued by form, and intimately acquainted with modern and contemporary poetry in English. Hence, Meyer seems well - positioned to achieve greatness. Instead, in Radio Silence (Black Moss, 64 pages, $10.95 paper), Meyer's second collection, his discipline too often results in bondage; his restraint mutes his music, so that his lines fade into white noise. His attempts to redeem rhetoric often fail, but they fail with style. Nevertheless, Meyer delivers some superb moments in "Kenilworth" and "Menot and the Tropics," and a few poems, notably "On the Point," are largely excellent. Here is its last stanza:

When we arrive at the end, the end of our country,
the last place on earth we can name as home,
the terminus of exile, the dream we dreamed into,
we will meet ourselves silently and say little;
we will turn north again, north toward home,
carrying with us that long walk on brittle
fragments, a place more craft than country,
where the waters parted and we slipped through.

Such sustained lyrical episodes are infrequent, but there are enough to represent promise blossoming into near perfection.


Bruce Meyer's works copyright © to the author.


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