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Thursday, April 3, 2014

National Al Purdy Day - Monday April 21

photo courtesy APAFA and Eurithe Purdy
 In 2009 The League of Canadian Poets proclaimed April 21 as Al Purdy Day. This year, Al Purdy day falls on Easter Monday, which will provide many of us with a day off work, which we could use for paperwork, cleaning the garage, starting to work in the garden. Or we could take an hour and observe Al Purdy Day.

If you're not too far away, you could travel to Ameliasburgh, park on Whitney Road and walk in to the A-frame behind its hedge of unruly cedars. Being careful of your footing because of winter tree damage and construction obstacles, you could wander down to Roblin Lake and think of how many poems it inspired. Carefully you might peek through the windows into the dining room where so many writers ate and drank and talked poetry with Al and Eurithe.
Centennial high school Purdy Day 2010

Or you might go take Purdy Lane down to Grove Cemetery, find Al's grave with famous book-shaped gravestone, and pay your respects. Wander around the lovely old Grove cemetery overlooking the millpond immortalized in 'In Search of Owen Roblin.' Find Owen Roblin -  he's buried there too.

photo courtesy John Reeves
The Voice of the Land
Owen Roblin 1806-1903

 Or you could light a fire in the fireplace, put some spaghetti sauce on to cook, and sit down with a good book.  Suggestion? Beyond Remembering: The Collected Poems of Al Purdy. Published 2000. The year Canada lost its first, its best, its last poet, it's been said of Al.

Read a poem to your lover. To yourself. Read it out loud.

Al Purdy 1916 - 2000      photo courtesy John Reeves

 If you feel in need of a bit of inspiration, have a look at what Chris Faiers, Marmora poet and host of the Annual PurdyFest, has to say about Al's influence. Read Chris' poem 'Picnic with Al'.

I invite you to travel back with me to a post I wrote last April 21st, or I could share what happened to us on Purdy Day 2013.

Happy Purdy Day everyone.

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