Poetry Out Loud & in a Linocut

Al Purdy Show

Program from The Al Purdy Show, Feb. 6, 2013, Toronto

On Wednesday night, I attended a fundraiser at beautiful Koerner Hall in Toronto.  It was in honour of an excellent Canadian poet, Al Purdy (1918 – 2000).  Al’s work was being honoured through readings by Canadian poets and actors and through performances by musicians.  The funds raised are going towards the preservation and rehabilitation of the A-Frame house he and his wife, Eurithe, built near Ameliasburg, Ontario—the house that the couple opened to many poets and writers over the years.  The goal is to develop a poet-in-residence program and to preserve and celebrate this part of Canada’s cultural history.

Al Purdy Show BrochureI loved hearing Al’s poems read out loud.  It always seems to me that hearing poetry read is like being invited into a dream or another world.  The words may evaporate, with only a few resting in the mind consciously, and yet they are deeply affecting.  That’s how I found the readings last night.

I have done visual art work my whole life, but in the past few years I have also begun writing poetry.  Sometimes I sit pondering a word or two for an hour, and other times lines present themselves as from another land and I write them down.  If I ever get work published, I’ll let you know.  Meanwhile, here is a poem, a sort of prayer to us all, that I wrote years ago and carved as a lino print.

Poem Linocut by Lily S. May

In the Turning Poem & Linocut by Lily S. May

In the turning,

may we have the courage

to do our work,

to name the face of greed

swallowing our world,

to love,

to see what is heartbreaking

and not be swept away forever,

to believe that we may change,

to pass it on.

 Lily S. May, 1993 



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