Montreal is a book length poem about the history, geography and a personal poetic memoir of the city. For those of you who might find this excerpt “politically incorrect”, I ask you to read the whole poem. Also please note the ironic tone that suffuses it. He uses stereotypes and clichés to upend those clichés and stereotypes and at the end writes “…/Crushing my memories of your streets, passing/Into another country of the anarchic mind,/Killing history under my wheels,…”.
The CCF (Cooperative Commonwealth Federation) forerunner of the NDP was founded in 1932 by, (among others) Montreal poet F.R. Scott. Here is its platform from a postwar election campaign. (Date is not stated)
We had just arrived in Rome from Vasto Marina, a wonderful seaside place in the Italian province of Abruzzo. We had spent seven gorgeous days sunning on the Adriatic coast, eating amazing food and passing a wonderful time in wonderful company. We were there to do nothing and we were enjoying ourselves doing it.
We decided to go to Rome for the day before flying back to Canada. I had been there before but Carolyn hadn’t and she wanted to see the Colosseum, the Forum and the Trevi Fountain. And do some shopping.
I found an anthology Montreal in Verse published by The Canadian Authors Association published in 1942. It was their members' tribute to Montreal on its 300th anniversary. Here are four of them and excerpts from the introduction.
"When the whole world is at war, events of purely local importance are apt to pass unnoticed. ...But writers, who work in the silence of their study, barely disturbed by outside noises, could not help but be inspired by Montreal's three centuries of existence. ...Poets could not remain si...
"...the first whorehouse raid I saw on De Bullion Street (when I was six) has given me an ineffaceable picture of the human situation: people laughing at the humiliation of others, maliciously enjoying their helplessness and discomfiture. Sweet, sweet human beings....A poet has his images and symbols handed to him very early in life ; his later poems are largely explorations he makes into the depths of his unconscious to unravel their meanings."
Montreal is a city that has always had a plethora of poets. It is also a city that has been poeticized more than any other city in Canada. (Probably). As a poet, my private/public gift to Montreal is to post poems by poets dead and alive who have written about Montreal.
The first one is A.M. Klein's Montreal. This poem is Klein's attempt to capture the indigenous origins, the bilingual essence, the multicultural reality and the poet's connection to the spirit of the city.
It’s 1956, a seminal year in modern Hungarian history. But for the residents of Békes, a village literally at the end of the line if you’re taking the train from Budapest, in many ways it feels like life has barely changed since medieval times. Everyone knows everyone else, people grow their own vegetables and draw their water from a common well.
3. Witness the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the ’56 uprising.
A was worried. She didn’t want Z and me to go to the celebration. She expected trouble. My 91-year-old mother who survived the Holocaust and who risked her life to escape from Hungary told me before I left to keep my mouth shut and stay away from crowds. Silence didn’t do her any good during the Holocaust. Keeping away from crowds and mobs I could understand.
Z and I decided to go. A decided to come along....
I wanted to go to a genuine Turkish bath. I was hoping that the shwitz would help me with my cold. I also wanted to cleanse myself and be pure for the celebration.
Z and I went to the Király Thermal Baths on Fö utza (MainSt.) just on the Buda side of the Danube. It was 500 hundred years old. And looked it. It was not where the tourist went. The tourists tended to go to the more modern, posh ones near Geller Mountain. This was whe...