The Ditch Was Lit Like This
Thistledown Press / 29 February 2012

The Ditch Was Lit Like This by Sean Johnston Published by Thistledown Press Review by Kris Brandhagen $17.95 CAD 978-1-897235-94-2 Right from the beginning, I could glean that The Ditch Was Lit Like This by Sean Johnston is about those in-between times when we are focused on getting wherever it is we are going, and about what we leave behind, as well as what we lose altogether. The first poem ends with the apt question, “Are you ready?” Figuring that I was, I eagerly turned the page. This poet associates night with travel; even when at home, stationary, the night is a journey. What I really like about this book is that there seem to be poems within poems. And what is refreshing is that Johnston addresses the problem of language. These pages are complex and beautiful, exploring binary concepts like joy/discomfort. The strongest point of this body of poems is how Johnston includes the reader on the journey, exploring the more delicate and philosophical points of family, and romance: “…the response is either love returned or love withheld—that is, of course, if something has been risked, and the real invitation is this: birth, eyes that behold beauty, hearts that…

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