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August 07 , 2008

Blossoms and Shadows


In a poem entitled The Self-Unseeing, Thomas Hardy describes a scene of exaltation ending with the words: “Yet we were looking away!” Garth Lambert has never wanted to be “looking away.” In this series of poems, easy of access but with depths to plumb, he turns his gaze on the life of Man and of a man.

The earlier, more descriptive poems, inclined toward youthful enthusiasm and worldly beauty, already contain short shadows. The increasingly philosophic later poems explore the dark shadowy corners of personal life and of the world, including the concept of God, who seems to be playing a mean game of hide-and-seek with humankind. The poems do this with unflinching honesty, but also with humanity and humour and frequent glances into the sunlit spaces between the shadows.

In the end, a positive message filters through as Garth Lambert espouses the primacy of reason over superstition, of compassion over indifference and cruelty, of nature over human-species sprawl, of life over death, of love over all.

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