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Customer Review

April 15, 2018
I learned about <b>Peter Jacob Peters</b> when I encountered his 1984 collection second-hand, my favourite of his works. It was a pleasant surprise to find his 1972 poetry book at a charity sale and now his middle one from 1978, “<b>Driftwood And Other Poems</b>”. He lived until 98 in 2012 and adored Manitoba. Out of admiration and respect for someone who was a horticultural and agricultural hero; I give three stars. I don't think anyone deemed him a great poet but it is nice to have self-published poems about our home turf from 45 years ago. He clarified in his introductions, who he was so that browsers of his verses would know his place in our community.

All his poems are about Manitobans, our prairieland generally, Canada, family, nature, God, and his organizations. It is easy to see <b>Peter</b> was a sweet person who loved humour. In an ode to his Mother, he wished she had been less serious. Although I feel it should be a short story instead of rhyming lines, my favourite is about his Dad surviving a snowstorm inside a grainery, while their family prayed. I also love the poem for his wife, Berthie. I wish someone had proposed tips for improvement. Practice doesn't make perfect if you aren't polishing the art. The few times <b>Peter</b> didn't rhyme, I liked the poems better. His usual style recycled phrases, which were cliché to begin with. He wrote too often that grain is golden and settlers had strife in life. Lines about sod precede God.

I love how this book derives from huge “<b>Driftwood</b>” our poet polished and kept. Personal touches and encouraging humanity are hallmarks but needed to be stated with originality and without stereotypes. Cities do have cement and memories of the country are nice. But his community was Winnipeg and we rural-dwellers are not all farmers. There is more to say about cities and immigrating than his poems extolled. This middle collection is my least favourite for lack of variety and aptness. The first was new, the third streamlined to the best pieces and fresh subjects. The plain, narrating language is clear and his passionate loyalty is well-received.
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