R.J. Anderson (rj_anderson) wrote,
R.J. Anderson

"Laurentian Shield"

Anyone who's read my poetry will know that I am no great shakes as a poet. I have a further confession to make: I am no great shakes as a reader of poetry, either. Having long ago formed the bad but persistent habit of speed-reading everything, I lack the focused, patient attention necessary to savour and appreciate most poems. The novel, not poetry, is my natural element.

That being said, however, I find that there are still a few poems, and poets, that rise up and smack me upside the head with their rich, evocative, powerful language. So, in spite of my general philistine preference for prose, there is nonetheless a well-loved copy of the complete works of Gerard Manley Hopkins on my bookshelf, I can quote bits of George Herbert and John Donne, and I continue to read Erin Noteboom's poetry blog on a regular basis.

Just tonight, I was reminded of one of my favorite poems of all time -- a poem that first came to my attention in high school English class, where my resistance to it should have been at its highest. Not only a poem, but a poem by a Canadian author, a poem about Canada even -- normally I wouldn't have given it a second glance. But the language in this poem was so gorgeous it just riveted me, and twenty years later it still makes my bones vibrate. Go read it:

Laurentian Shield by F.R. Scott
Tags: poetry
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