Saturday, September 21, 2013

Emily Carr Interlude

My, haven't I been gone a long, long time!  Sorry for the silence.  I've been traveling and will soon be traveling again but in the meantime I wanted to share a poem from a slim volume of poetry I found when I was on Vancouver Island recently.  It's called Emily and is written by Florence McNeil*.  Ms. McNeil has "translated her own love of the West Coast and its rain forests, seas and mountains into poetry based on the life and work of Emily Carr."  

Emily Carr is one of my favorite artists and I seem to grow to love her paintings more and more as the years pass.  I thought that Ms. McNeil did a most admirable job of writing in (what I imagine) is Emily Carr's voice.


It is not the surface I want

not the ocean with the sunday sailors

the harbour where ladies
boldly (in summer)
consider their ankles

or the straw hats 
that float
in the placid inner harbour

I want     like Alice to go through
the glass
come out on the other side
of respectability

display barnacles kicking
on the schooners' bottoms

show the insolent energy of seaweed

tell the languishing ladies and gentlemen
of Victoria     in their sacred departures
there is violence
florid and beautiful

beneath their holy excursions.

*Florence McNeil, Emily, (Toronto/Vancouver: Clarke, Irwin & Company Limited, 1975, print).

I will try, Dear Reader, to post a few snaps of where I've been and share with you what I've been up to, before I leave for Southern Africa early in October.


john said...

Glad to see you back here. Lucky you to be the traveler. Fun for me to hear about the travels when we meet at Starbuck's each month.
Thanks for sharing your books with me on Emily Carr. Love the poem!

diane b said...

Her paintings are special. The poem is good too with its descriptions. You certainly are getting around. We did that in the first years of retirement too, We are slowing down a bit now.