Patrick Lane Don Gutteridge - Essay

Don Gutteridge

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Old Mother contains three quite distinct sections. First there is a long sequence called "Prairie Poems," which confirms Lane's reputation as one of our best poets. Read individually, these poems afford the pleasure we have come to expect from his verse: a sense of immediacy, of living through powerful emotional and sensuous experiences expressed in stark, occasionally bizarre, imagery and controlled by a constant voice whose rhythms are as sure as they are haunting. Lane's has always been the voice of the outsider, the alienated, the man with the crooked eye—a voice tempered always by compassion and the anguish it brings. In "Prairie Poems" these concerns are vividly focussed on the everyday world of rural...

(The entire section is 544 words.)