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Brief Reviews-Poetry
by Erin Moure

JEAN-PAUL DAOUST`s Black Diva: Selected Poems 1982-1986 (Guernica, 46 pages, $8 paper) is a compact rainbow offering of earlier work of the 1990 Governor General`s Award-winning poet in an energetic translation by Daniel Sloate. As the fellow poet Andre Roy says in his introductory note (a poem in itself, capturing Daoust precisely), Jean-Paul Daoust "somersaults so he wont get dizzy;" he is "flammable ...his heart goes tilt." One reads these six texts and thinks of Wim Wenders`s film Wings of Desire, in which the angels (all boys) observe the earthlings without their knowing it, and long to spend time on earth, among them, recognized. Daoust`s narrator, and the boys of his narration, are angels, are on earth, surprised at this, but more so, they still have their wings, and their wings are folded and unfolded, leaving the dust of solitude and grandeur and affection and openness and startled looks and caresses and the fear of abandonment we all share. Leaving golden light and the passage of traffic, in the traffic of passages, the noise of the night, and the whisper of sheets, "Because to be happy / You always do things / That make you tremble all over." The book does that. Makes me tremble all over, that is.

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