Al Purdy Day, April 21– JC celebrates with A. Garnett Weiss cento based on Purdy lines

The League of Canadian Poets declared April 21 as AL PURDY DAY to recognize his legacy.

Published under her pseudonym A. Garnett Weiss, JC’s collection of centos, BRICOLAGE:A GATHERING OF CENTOS, features “Where love was slowly becoming possible,” based on Al’s poems. For the Art of Conversation joint project of the County Arts Council and the Community Care Association for Seniors JC created a second Purdy-linked cento after a number of conversations she had with a wise and independent 99 year-old woman who was born in Prince Edward County.

“I am a screen through which the world passes” draws non-contiguous lines and its title, unaltered apart from changes in punctuation, from Purdy’s long poem,  In Search of Owen Roblin. 

To honour AL PURDY DAY, here is the cento:

I  am a screen through which the world passes


To belong somewhere torn

from the great pine forests,

so far from anywhere.

Leaning back against the tree trunks, sitting

on a stone where water foams out,

I realized that here was the exact spot

above the watery rumble.

A long misty chain stretched thru time, and I

began to read books about the 19thcentury.

But names and dates say little.

But the only thing certain is the settlers, themselves.

And I can hear them,

in the past shouting questions and hearing echoes, movings

and reachings and fragments.

For the book is not closed,

as we, too, have our shadowy children deep

down beyond the morning light and under

the high green ceiling of the forest.

This entry was posted in A. Garnett Weiss, Whats New. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.