As I passed through familiar hamlets, I took their photos.
As I did that, I heard Al Purdy's voice, saying their names.
These names were raised from the geographical to the literary when Al wrote 'My Grandfather's Country' (To Paris Never Again, 1997)
And I ask myself:
Is the poem more real to me because of these physical signs...touchstones?
Or are these places more real for all of us because of Al Purdy's poems?
|"the clearings join and fences no longer divide..."|
in red October
where the Canadian Shield hikes north
with southern birds gone now
thru towns named for an English novel
a battle in Scotland and Raleigh's dream of gold
-Ivanhoe Bannockburn El Dorado
with "Prepare to Meet Thy God" on granite billboards"...