Hedi Bouraoui, Echosmos.
Oakville: Mosaic Press, 1986. 238 pp.
Review by Stephen Morrissey
Poetry Canada Review, Volume 8, No. 1, autumn 1986
There is a book of poetry hiding in Hedi Bouraoui's's Echosmos; the problem is in finding it. There is no evidence of editorial control in this book. We get not only Bouraoui's French poetry and his English translations, but also an overly long and congratulatory introduction written by one of the author's colleagues at York University, and sixteen pages of drawings by people of various nationalities, included apparently because of Bouraoui's championing of multiculturalism. Echosmos desperately needs to be edited and rewritten. Many of the poems ramble on without point or substance for several pages, other poems are just badly written. Bouraoui writes:
In your scarlet mouth your grotto splinters And the bloody words begin their quest like Nomadic clots carrying nightmares In the broken arteries of our lands
When we aren't being given incomprehensible stanzas such as this, the author writes of "Love that melts moldable wax", "My rolling body gathers no moss" and, "In the withered garden / Of your navels..."
By the time I had finished reading Echosmos I had not been moved by a single emotion, impressed by a single image, or touched by a single thought. This is not poetry invested with music or soul, or even vision. It is writing that begs to be rigorously edited and criticized. Even the few well written poems in this collection, from Bouraoui's trips to foreign countries, while being coherent expressions of the author's perceptions, show a shallowness of feeling and an absence of poetic vision and craft.
Copyright © 2007 The author