From Publishers Weekly
Scott's life has been uniquely broad: he was in the Canadian diplomatic service during the 1950s, active in the anti-war movement during the '60s, and has written six nonfiction books that attack governmental policies. These autobiographical elements form the core of this impressive book-length poem--the second volume of a projected trilogy, sequel to Coming to Jakarta . Through 200 pages of tight three-line stanzas, the poet extends the limits of personal history by incorporating quotations (sometimes only three words) from over 150 sources in a context that stretches his emotional journey. Past and present converge, but the imagery is so relevant to its particular time that readers should easily locate themselves. The speaker and a friend sit down to breakfast, for example, and ``set out the milk carton / with the face of the missing child.'' Art, politics and business intertwine, as when Scott notes that Van Gogh's Irises , ``too expensive to keep,'' went on auction as Sotheby's on ``The day that Wall Street / fell 508 points.'' The subtitle makes one wish more contemporary poets gave way to such uninhibited yet crafted exploration.
Copyright 1992 Cahners Business Information, Inc.