Véhicule Press, 2004 (2004)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
he collection of Mary Dalton's poems in
reflects a rich Newfoundland heritage in speech and culture. Though I did not understand all the local idiom, the meanings of many words (such as
) could be guessed from their context and others held echoes of their Celtic origins that resonated with my own Irish background.
he verses speak of a hard life and tough folk, of perilous sea fishing, of women washing and baking, births and deaths, moonshine and merriment - and of small, close communities knowing each other's strengths and flaws. I especially liked
, which reminded me of my grandfather - '
Eighty-four and spry as a goat. / He set eight drills of potatoes the spring ... Knows a hundred songs, / Get him going, out they'll / Tumble - you'll hear him rattling, / Working one up, him leaning / Into the song, all six foot of him, / His head full of tunes, / Feet tapping, / Eyes capering after the women.
' And the final poem
conveys physical attraction strongly - '
Cradle and grave, / They said; / Yet - / You could smell / The smouldering, sparry, / Whenever they met.
n a concluding '
Note on the Poems
', the author tells us that her '
small monologues, then, originate in the printed, the spoken and the imagined ... They speak of the land and the saltwater. They are hybrids, moon children, merrybegots.
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