Total Pageviews

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Ever green

Al Purdy lived his life in public.
His poetry and prose are so very personal.
It seems almost voyeuristic to have access to such intimate times ... his despair, his failures, his childhood struggles, quarrels, embarrassments, pain, loss.
As a 'local' I often get to follow Al's footsteps.

Last Friday, in a lovely garden cemetery on a hill overlooking Trenton and my husband's shop, I found the tombstone of Al's parents.

At home, in 'Poems for All the Annettes', a link  more personal somehow because of Al's signature in my copy, I reread his two poems about Evergreen Cemetery, on Stockdale Road.

 I recall all the awkwardness of standing in a graveyard after relatives' funerals - trying to connect my self with real things in this unreal convention for dealing with death. The presence of natural things - trees, squirrels and birds conducting daily business, oblivious to all the solemnity - helped.

I think it must have grounded Purdy amid the tide of emotions surrounding his mother's death.

"Me standing here in death's
ceded town
                 in full summer
the dead down there unfreezing comfortably
the cold miserable rain untouching them-
outnumbering all to hell the last newcomers:
1 human, 2 chipmunks, some squirrels..."

Mount Evergreen Cemetery is a good place for 'a think'

From Evergreen Cemetery, 'Poems for All the Annettes', page 104

No comments:

Post a Comment