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Tribute to Poetry

Now special days are coming around again as I pass my first year on the Web and today I find it is once again National Poetry Day and I like poetry. I particularly like to investigate Islanders who wrote poetry. It is amazing how many we had. As a matter of fact the Poet Laureate for the USA a few years ago was born in Summerside. His name wis Mark Strand. His father was in the Air Force, I think. You can, or at least could, find him many times in the New Yorker over the last couple of decades. I'd like to bring him back for a reading some day. Here's Number XIX from Dark Harbour : I go out and sit on my roof, hoping

That a creature from another planet will see me

And say, "There's life on earth, definitely life;

"See that earthling on top of his house,

His manifold possessions under him,

Let's name him after our planet," Whoa!

I was part of a group who brought another former Islander home to read her poetry. It was at Beaconsfield and it was a special night [even if she almost did fall off the platform]. She was Margaret Furness MacLeod. One of the poems she read I should have shared with you a couple of days ago when spring was about to happen [is that true, we have a storm warming out for tomorrow!]. It is called Tomorrow will Be Spring and it was inspired when she was trying to talk her father into going to visit her in Montreal - after a long winter in Vernon -

"Ah, no, my child, I cannot go with you,

Tomorrow will be Spring.

Daily the sun is adding moments to the light

and one week hence will set

behind the Cavanaugh house.

Lonely? Why yes, so many friends gone,

but then there is the Vernon

flowing by my door.

I love the crunching sound of ice in Spring

leaving the brick-red banks

And clasping, lover-like, a willow

with your mother's name carved on the bark

No child, I cannot go with you.

Tomorrow will be spring."

The night she read at Beaconsfield I brought her supper over to the motel and she had a gentle meal and read over for me the poems she wanted to perform that night. It was very special and tears flowed down my eyes as I sat on floor at her feet.

She was a beautiful women and intense in her belief of this Island.

Margaret Furness MacLeod was born at Vernon Bridge - it's over a hundred years ago because she was born in 1886. She lived most of here life off the island, but she came home as often as she could. She loved the island and taught many of her family and neighbours how special we were.

Orwell Corner likely wouldn't have happened if her influence had not been felt. She was a great supporter of the Heritage Foundation and understood how hard we must work to preserve for another generation. Lets end with a Haiku of hers':

Angry winds howling

Over a leafless forest

with nothing to blow.

Written Wednesday, March 21, 2001 at 09:21 PM

(c) 2000 by Catherine Hennessey. Questions or comments? Email me@catherinehennessey.com

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