Canadian Bookseller Review - Running in Darkness

Reviewed by: Glenn Kletke

How do poetry and autobiography intersect? In his most recent collection of poems, Running in Darkness, Robert Currie takes up this challenge and weaves the string of his life with the knots and ties that define us all. Dip into his book and you will find the personal poems of the child, aadolescent, student, husband, father, teacher, self and poet.

Currie matches these changing perspectives with a variety of poetic forms including regular stanzas, free verse, narrative blocks, prose poems, concrete poems and broken lines--an inventiveness of poetic shapes that delight the readers and bring to life the many characters and important events that have informed his life.

By the last section of the book, these glimpses of the poet's life take on an added poignancy as we sense him moving towards the completion of his journey. Here are poems that meet up with long ago acquaintances. Here too is the death of the poet's father which, in a way, provides a template for the final act. Abandoned paternal possessions, such as a baseball glove, a cane and a pair of shoes, become remnants of what the poet has lost.

These last poems take on an elegiac quality with their haunting final lines, "the fading figure of a man/who walks away, never looking back,/though he pauses once in falling snow" to mark the poet's deceased father and "Her eyes flicker in alarm, relax/once more, and we are alone" to mark his departed mother.

The poet is left, running in darkness.

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