I'm immensely pleased to read Stewart Cole's thoughtful review of both Sailing to Babylon and You Are Here at The Urge. For brief excerpts, click "read more" below.
Of You Are Here, Cole writes, "Pollock's book . . . provides both a series of unusually nuanced and intelligent takes on individual poets and volumes and, taken as a whole, an erudite accounting of Canadian poetic identity in the late twentieth- and early twenty-first centuries . . . . [It has a quality of] extraordinary rigour, the meticulousness with which, in [Pollock's] finest critical moments, he substantiates his strong claims with argumentation so textured and intelligent that one feels dared to disagree."
And of the poem "Quarry Park" in Sailing to Babylon, Cole writes that "Overall the poem is, frankly, a masterpiece; if I were compiling today an anthology of Canadian poetry from its beginnings, it would doubtless make the cut. For not only does it constitute a significant formal achievement, but it takes the prominent Canadian genre of ‘nature poem’ to new heights, meditating on aspects of flora, fauna, and landscape formation with a level of detail and engagement with both the scientific and folkloric aspects of natural history that can only be attained through years of intimate observation. As verse narrative, 'Quarry Park' flows so beautifully as to make it difficult to quote from while doing justice to its subtle rhetoric . . . ."
My warm thanks to Stewart!