Alden Nowlan's The Things which Are, taking its title from the Book of Revelation, plunges [into a kind of visionary sense of reality]…. It is native Canadian realism (the book is dedicated to Souster) with a sporadic symbolism drawn from reality that is literally hair-raising in its effects. This goes beyound just "good Canadian poetry"—it is incredibly good.
Poems like "The Bull Moose", "The Execution", and "Novelty Booth", are a leap forward to some new frontier of vision. Others, "Money", "Canticle", "Sometimes", "The Stenographer", are beautiful as any among our recent poetry. And one poem, "In Peace", is as high in its diction and imaginative evocation, I think, as anything in Frost or Yeats. (p. 173)
Louis Dudek, "A Load of New Books: Smith, Webb, Miller/Souster, Purdy, Nowlan" (originally published in, Delta, No. 20, February, 1963), in his Selected Essays and Criticism (© Louis Dudek and The Tecumseh Press Limited 1978), Tecumseh, 1978, pp. 168-74.∗