Patrick Lane Rosemary Sullivan - Essay

Rosemary Sullivan

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Pat Lane is from the BC interior and in his poetry [recently collected in Poems New & Selected] you find the West Coast landscape and temperament. He writes of logging camps and forests, the native people, hunting and bush farming, but you don't feel the poet has turned to these subjects as the compulsory material of his region. This is Lane's natural world. He writes a tough-minded, anecdotal poetry full of narratives of the hard lives of ordinary people. The voice he chooses is often raw and violent, and his best quality is a remarkable and moving empathy for all of life that is vulnerable and pained: the woman who aborts herself in a dingy hotel, the boy who blows his mother's arms off with a bomb, the...

(The entire section is 600 words.)