new year's eve

an older poem of mine entitled "new year's eve" has been posted on the feathertale site. you can read it here.



two thoughts from al purdy

Poetry. What is it for, what does it do, what is the use of it? In Canada, poetry reflects and foreshadows both country and people. It is the voice of reason, the voice of humanity, the voice that says “I am me.” It allows us to know each other; like the CBC, it connects with all parts of the country. It says the little village of Ameliasburgh in Ontario has some relevance to, say, Granville Ferry in Nova Scotia. Above all, poetry says you are us and we are citizens of here and now, this space, this air, and this time.

- “Disconnections,” Essays on Canadian Writing, No. 49 [Summer 1993], p.187

To my mind, what a poem ought to do is cause the reader to feel and think, balanced on nearly the same moment as myself when I wrote it. And I’d prefer to be understood with a minimum of mental strain by people as intelligent or more so than myself. I’d like them to hear the poem aloud when they read it on the page, which some people can do with poems they like.
Ideally, I’d like to say a thing so well that if the reader encounters a passage in a poem which has much the same rhythm and ordinariness as this prose passage he or she is reading now: that that passage would suddenly glow like coloured glass in a black and white world. Which is probably a hopeless ambition.

-Bursting into Song, p.11 [1982]


Neruda's Nobel Lecture

From all this, my friends, there arises an insight which the poet must learn through other people. There is no insurmountable solitude. All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. And we must pass through solitude and difficulty, isolation and silence in order to reach forth to the enchanted place where we can dance our clumsy dance and sing our sorrowful song - but in this dance or in this song there are fulfilled the most ancient rites of our conscience in the awareness of being human and of believing in a common destiny.

- Pablo Neruda, December 13th, 1971

read the whole thing here