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INVENTING THE HAWK

Crozier, Lorna
Toronto, McClelland & Stewart, 1992. 140pp, paper, $12.99, ISBN 0-7710-2477-0. CIP


Grades 11 and up/Ages 16 and up

Reviewed by Donalee Moulton

Volume 20 Number 5
1992 October


Inventing anything requires imagination, growth and tenacity. All three are part and parcel of Lorna Crozier's most recent literary invention 140 pages of poetry that sweep readers from flights of fancy to down-to-earth reality.

Inventing the Hawk contains Crozier's best work. The poems are both intimate and universal, warm and hard hitting. Crozier focuses in many of these poems on the memories of her father, who died in 1990, and her relationship with her mother. Both memory and immediacy are revealed through glimpses of Crozier's childhood in Swift Current, Saskatchewan:

Dad, a little drunk, every summer Sunday
brought home a pail of perch
late in the evening like a prize (small
but the tastiest fish you'll ever eat)
as another man might bring
a box of chocolates or
a rose.

Don't be misled, however, into thinking this is a soap-opera sad journey down memory lane. Inventing the Hawk is not sentimental. It is sincere. It is also difficult and painful, and that Crozier reaches all of us through her pain and through her words is a testament to her ability as a poet:

In the half-light of closets
you can still see
lust in the trousers,

the bottom of the legs
caressing dust,
drawing from memory
a pair of shoes,
perhaps the black ones he wore
on his journey through the earth

Crozier manages to infuse much of Inventing the Hawk with the light, airy movement of a gliding predator. She also relies successfully on humour:

On the seventh day God rested as he always did. Well, rest wasn't exactly the right word, his wife had to admit. On the seventh day God went into his study and wrote in his journal in huge curlicues and loops and large crosses on the t's changing all the facts, of course, even creating Woman from a Man's rib, imagine that! But why be upset? she thought Who's going to believe it?

Inventing the Hawk is a wonderful collection of poetry. Simply wonderful.


Donalee Moulton is a freelance writer in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and former editor of the Pottersfield Portfolio

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