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Thursday, May 16, 2013

'May 23, 1980'

Al's lilacs overpowering my little car

"I'd been driving all day
arrived home about 6 p.m.
got something to eat and slept an hour
then I went outside 
and you know
- the whole world smells of lilacs
the whole damn world."

('May 23, 1980' in The Stone Bird, 1981)

violets, or 'Johnny Jump-ups'

Narcissi near the point

And to complete the circle, here's a link to a lovely post by my lovely friend Katherine, on 'Meanwhile, at the Manse' expanding on this poem, its story, and the world overcome by lilacs.

Katherine mentions, as shall I, a benefit premiere of the indy Canadian film The Shape of Rex on June 7 at 7PM at the Royal Cinema on College Street in Toronto. ACTRA-nominated Vivien Douglas and the film's co-directors will be in attendance.

Admission is $15, Brian Johnson is hosting and showing his short film about Al Purdy. And the best part of a great arts story? Proceeds of the film and after-party go toward the A-frame restoration.
Woodpile redux

Today I visited the A-frame, to see what changes spring had brought.  And changes there were...the violets, narcissi, tulips, cherry trees, forsythia that had no doubt lightened Eurithe's heart each lovely. But then I remembered lilacs (not hard to forget, there were banks everywhere) and something someone had told me, that lilacs were Al's favourite flower. Imagine.

Gibson Road forsythia

In March, when I interviewed some Trenton High School students for an article I'm writing, Nolan told me there are always flowers in Al's poems. Since then, I have paid close attention.

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