In the poetry world the debate rages: should poems be accessible? Or does that make them slight? This is that all-too-rare phenomenon: a collection that refuses either label. These poems give up more of themselves the more you read them; Paterson has the poise and the wisdom to offer us just enough to allow the spark to jump the gap, without laying it all out bare. I loved the fact that there is an occasional quality of mystery - often playful mystery - and a deliciously ironic tone to some of them. The form he uses - everything in lower case - and the titles, each of which begins with 'on', add something extra to this: both a sense of continuity, and a hiatus between title and body that allows our intuition and imagination to do some of the work of association.
Having read each poem in this book several times at first reading I am already sensing a deepening of my enjoyment and understanding as I begin it again. I recommend this book for its rarity value, intelligence, iconoclasm, wit, scholarliness, erudition, diction and the wonderful footnotes. AND - it's also a very good read!