Crow Review – Johnathan Ball

Johnathan Ball reviews Crow in the Winnipeg Press.


Cornelia Hoogland’s Crow (Black Moss, 84 pages, $17) is a messier affair, more plainspoken. Her speakers hope for small things, “to get through Naomi Klein’s newest fat book.”

Crow gathers around a series of poems regarding crows, including a lengthy suite about a crow attacking its own reflection. Hoogland’s poems do not engage much with the wealth of scientific knowledge regarding crows, but instead circle and swoop in standard patterns.

Nevertheless, the poems are enjoyable and accomplished, with some wonderful and surprising passages: “Travis puts down his seminar paper. He’s talking / about birds in literature — paper swallow, paper swift– / when he stops speaking and makes the sound // that the white-throated sparrow makes.”

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