Long Reach Home
by Dianne Hicks Morrow
Review by Phil Thompson
What a great title for the sailing poet!
On a reach, usually the fastest point of sail, the keel (the wing in the water) and the sail (the wing in the air) are extremely well balanced – like most maritime poetry.
Flying an aircraft is much simpler, more like writing a novel, because you only have one fluid to deal with…while sailing involves two fluids usually moving in different directions.
Like a good poem.
Before poets in the rest of Canada wince at this regional analogy, remember that when Mark Strand won the Pulitzer for poetry in the US he claimed being born in PEI and brought up on the south shore of Nova Scotia gave him his voice and storytelling ability.
Dianne Hicks Morrow, born in Saint John, conceived in Newfoundland and married in PEI, takes us on a worthwhile journey through the ocean of life. This isn’t a log of adventures at sea, but rather a well-charted course through image, metaphor, anecdote and irony…more land and community/family centered than ocean based.
Like Mark Strand, she has the ear for dialogue…for overheard conversation…and presents it skillfully.
There are sections where her work might be appreciated more by women than by men, but that’s OK and I simply declare the gender limitations of my testosterone-induced enjoyment of the Red Green show.
I’ll be giving this book to my sister for Christmas and she will love it dearly.
But I liked it too.