Max Layton IN THE GARDEN
OF I AM
Here's a link to a perceptive Review by Patrick Connors in Open Book Toronto: http://www.openbooktoronto.com/news/when_rapture_comes_max_layton_poetry
 

Max Layton believes that when the rapture comes there will be no light show of rhetoric, no linguistic highjinking around - no, in that singular moment of revelation, in the directly spoken language which is the way of Max Layton's poems, the word will become flesh and the flesh will meet bone.
    --Barry Callaghan

 

Max Layton is the wittiest and most experientially sublime poet around in Canadian poetry. He uses irony the way a gem cutter works with absolute precision to perfect the facets of a diamond. I say When The Rapture Comes is a must read for the poet taster who abhors the surface literalist approach to poetry. Buy this volume. It is spiritually restorative…
    --Joe Rosenblatt

 

When the Rapture Comes was a genuine pleasure to read. My first kick came as I realised the strategy of the whole book -- that every poem takes off from the same line. That's something I've never seen, and it set me thinking of jazz musicians who riff on a familiar tune. It's a muscular conception for a book, sly and satisfying. I liked the convention a lot. And when I set down the word 'muscular,' it points me to what I enjoyed most in individual poems. There's a sturdy intelligence at work here; the particular virtue of the work is this stubbornly independent cast of mind, determined to test things on its own nerve-ends and come to its own conclusions…
    --Dennis Lee

 

Max Layton does a magical trick. He takes a small throwaway line but just as he lets it go he leaps on it and goes along for the ride, taking the reader with him as he weaves it into unique tapestries, no two alike. Memory, praise, lament, satire and desire: one astonishing poem after another issues from this abundant line. A very modern and very readable poet.
    --Robert Priest

 

When the Rapture Comes is a book of high and low seriousness…The references are deep, but the surface is as available as laughter and tears, the comfort of loved ones...The repeated phrase, “When the rapture comes,” could be translated, “In an ideal world.” These poems are prescriptions “to fix a world beyond repair.” The ironies are not so much despair as cosmic jokes. Layton’s cast of characters embraces everyone from Jehovah to Leadbelly in an inclusive poetry that understands and forgives…
    --Linda Rogers