Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Hand Luggage: A Memoir in Verse by P.K. Page

P.K. Page was born in England in 1916 and then immigrated with her family to Red Deer, Alberta, in 1919. She has won a Governor General's Award for poetry and has travelled extensively with her husband, William Irwin, who was a diplomat. Her memoir has a delightful cadence and employs language and rhyme in playful ways.

"But in my classroom, Canadian voices --
hard r's and flat a's, a prairie language --
were teaching me tolerance, telling me something.
This vocal chasm divided my childhood.
Talking across it, a tightrope talker,
corrected at home, corrected in classrooms:
wawteh, wadder -- the wryness of words!"

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