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Derk Wynand.

Erin (ON), Porcupine's Quill, c1984.
54pp, paper, $7.95.
ISBN 0-88984-051-2.

Reviewed by Vivienne Denton.

Volume 12 Number 5
1984 September

This book of enigmatic and rather difficult poems has been put out by the Porcupine's Quill Press, a press that is publishing some very attractively produced books of innovative poetry. Wynand has published several collections of poetry previously. This volume shows the influence of the imagist tradition; poems conjure up moments and objects and hold them in stasis. Like a fetish, inanimate object worshipped for its magical powers, each poem stirs responses, but the poet does not elaborate. His style is spare, almost terse. The very titles of the poems are single words, often monosyllabic; "Map," "Mouth," "Word," "Page,". "Urge," "Pillow," for example. Such titles give little away and seem designed to identify the poem as object, although this list does indicate the chief subjects of the poems, sex and poetry, suggesting alternate meanings for the word "fetishistic" in the volume's title. The import of some of these fetishistic poems is readily recognized; "Burlesque," for example, invokes "A woman on stage, in the spot/of light, hardly breathing, as/in a chapter of a book/set in London in the forties," and in "Peg," his appetite awakened by a woman's blouse billowing on a clothesline, the poet seems to feel his cheeks "puffed out with mother of-pearl buttons." Other poems remain obscure after several readings. However, Wynand's poetic conundrums fascinate and seem to hold meaning worth the puzzling.

Vivienne Denton, Toronto, ON.
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