april was 'national poetry month'. more accurately, this april was 'Al Purdy poetry month'.
in mid-april, a documentary/reading/gordonpinsentlookingwistful on Al, called 'Yours, Al' aired on CBC. it wasn't as good as the Bukowski documentary 'born into this', but it had some of the same 'my-god-they're-typing-the-words-right-on-the-screen' effect, which pleased me.
then, later in the month, Al's 'Rooms for Rent in the Outer Planets' placed second in that silly 'Canada Reads' radioganza (like a normal extravaganza, but on radio). mad props to Susan Musgrave for nominating it.
on top of all that, early may brought with it an Al Purdy conference at the U of Ottawa.
all of this tickled me silly, and just might aid me in my goal to have every person i know (and possess at least a moderate inkling of care for) read one Al Purdy poem before they die. any poem would do, like this one, or this one. 'The Country North of Belleville' would be preferable though, or 'Transient'.
to end my Al Purdy wet dream post, here's a poem i wrote quite a while ago, when i first started to realize that poetry was more than the English 12 curriculum:
I’m having an Al Purdy moment,
one in which everything I've
ever written is shit
because Al wasn't a 16th
century playwright, he didn't
strut around in pantaloons
pacing the chartered Thames
he wrote poems about
100 Mile House and slept in
Eskimo huts in the N.W.T.
he crapped in the woods more times
than Byron, Donne and Shelley combined
and maybe that's supposed to
give me some relief, a clearing in
this wasteland of trees and gravel
but before Al I always took
comfort in my distance from talent,
from species of birds I'd never heard of
and all those elongated words.
Talent was something I didn't
particularly care for
something I was quite happy
to keep at an ocean's reach.