Hanlan’s Point, Souster #poem #Canada #children

I saw the same doors to underwater cities and secret woods and children hidden in a realm behind a rosebush and a cloaked parallel world entered through one door in one building on mid summer’s day right before noon. A lot of them were our own retellings of stories we read. Bless libraries and hurrah for writers of fairytales and fantasies. The joy they brought.
I wish I had my Dutch children’s books here in Canada. My twenty packed boxes of books are still back there. Dutch poetry, literature, YA novels…And coffee table books of penguins and aerial photography.

“Lagoons, Hanlan’s Point”

By Raymond Souster

[…]

And in one strange

dark, tree-hung entrance,

I followed the sound

of my heart all the way

to the reed-blocked ending,

with the pads of the lily

thick as green-shining film

covering the water.

And in another

where the sun came

to probe the depths

through a shaft of branches,

I saw the skeletons

of brown ships rotting

far below in their burial-ground,

and wondered what strange fish

with what strange colours

swam through these palaces

under the water…..

—-
(1)
Mornings

before the sun’s liquid

spilled gradually, flooding

the island’s cool cellar,

there was the boat

and the still lagoons,

with the sound of my oars

the only intrusion

over cries of birds

in the marshy shallows,

or the loud thrashing

of the startled crane

rushing the air.

(4)
A small boy

with a flat-bottomed punt

and an old pair of oars

moving with wonder

through the antechamber

of a walking world.

From: Oxford Book of Canadian Verse by Margaret Atwood. I found this a very dry and monotonous selection.

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