Come Rain, Come Shine
The Last Poems of Raymond Souster
Donna Dunlop, Editor
Printed in Canada by Asquith Press, 2014
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Naturally, there are many poems about death and loss and poor health and medical treatment. These are interspersed with sensitive, beautiful pieces about small pleasures and deep loves.
Is the “she”, whom he adores, one particular woman? I think so. His tender appreciations of her touch and her affection are moving. When he contemplates how her loss would destroy him, I am convinced. But “she” is universal, too, because the feelings Souster conveys are recognizable to any man.
The collection is not all profound themes and hard-won wisdom, though. There are some fine jabs at politicians in general and at the Ford brothers in particular. Human stupidity gets some knocks. Working class causes are defended and honoured.
Most of all, this very good collection builds a picture of an end-of-life seesaw that arcs through despair, resignation, opinion, recollection and love, pivoting on the poet’s courage to face oblivion without giving in to it before time is up. Raymond Souster dictated his last poem on October 5th, 2012. He died on the 19th at the age of 91.