More Easily Kept Illusions, The: The Poetry of Al Purdy

Overview

Much-loved, cantankerous, and brilliant, Al Purdy galloped across the Canadian literary landscape for decades, grandly embodying the self-taught and hard-living image of the 1960s and ’70s poet. The More Easily Kept Illusions: The Poetry of Al Purdy is a selection of thirty-five poems that includes some of his best-loved and unearths lost and ignored treasures.

Robert Budde introduces the collection with an overview of Purdy’s tumultuous life of letters, his legendary ...

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Overview

Much-loved, cantankerous, and brilliant, Al Purdy galloped across the Canadian literary landscape for decades, grandly embodying the self-taught and hard-living image of the 1960s and ’70s poet. The More Easily Kept Illusions: The Poetry of Al Purdy is a selection of thirty-five poems that includes some of his best-loved and unearths lost and ignored treasures.

Robert Budde introduces the collection with an overview of Purdy’s tumultuous life of letters, his legendary personality, his outrageous antics, his peers, his influences, and the history of his publishing career. Reorganizing Purdy’s body of work, this collection also re-interprets the chronological and thematic development of his writing. Choosing poems for a book like this is necessarily an act of literary criticism and Budde takes care to balance the various critical attentions that have structured the historical responses to Purdy’s work. The selected poems will mix lesser-known gems with Purdy’s greatest hits. Teachers, poetry-lovers, students, and writers will rediscover Purdy’s unique voice. Those who are new to his work will get a full and rich sense of the man some have called the last Canadian poet.

Also includes an Afterword by Russell Morton Brown.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780889204904
  • Publisher: Wilfrid Laurier University Press
  • Publication date: 4/17/2006
  • Series: Laurier Poetry Series
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Al Purdy’s down-to-earth voice populates thirty-three books, including The Cariboo Horses (1965), North of Summer (1967), Sex & Death (1973), and Piling Blood (1984). The two major collections of his work are The Collected Poems of Al Purdy (1986) and Beyond Remembering: The Collected Poems of Al Purdy (2000). Purdy died in Sidney, BC, on April 21, 2000.

Robert Budde teaches creative writing and critical theory at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George. He has published four books (two poetry—Catch as Catch and traffick, and two novels—Misshapen and, most recently, The Dying Poem). He maintains two online literary journals at stonestone.unbc.ca and writingwaynorth.blogspot.com.

Russell Morton Brown is a professor in the department of English at the University of Toronto. An editor for the University of Toronto Quarterly, the editor of The Collected Poems of Al Purdy, and co-editor with Donna Bennett of the New Anthology of Canadian Literature in English, he was also Editorial Director of Poetry at McClelland and Stewart for five years.

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Table of Contents

Mind process re a Faucet 1
Remains of an Indian village 3
Winter walking 5
Hockey players 7
Home-made beer 10
Eskimo graveyard 12
Trees at the Arctic Circle 15
Tent rings 17
When I sat down to play the piano 19
At the Quinte Hotel 22
Love at Roblin Lake 24
Interruption 25
Wilderness gothic 27
Lament for the Dorsets 29
Joint account 32
Depression in Namu, B.C. 33
Eastbound from Vancouver 34
The horseman of Agawa 36
Flat tire in the desert 39
Inside the mill 41
Deprivations 42
Alive or not 44
Rodeo 46
On realizing he has written some bad poems 48
After rain 50
The nurselog 52
A typical day in Winnipeg 54
In the early Cretaceous 57
Purely internal music 60
Orchestra 62
Red leaves 64
Orchestra 65
Earle Birney in hospital 67
Untitled 69
For her in sunlight 70
Afterword : as the dream holds the real 73
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