This poem was written on leaving my home-town on the Canadian prairies and heading out for the west coast, Vancouver — to seek my fame and fortune as a poet – drawn by the wailing sound of jazz.
Fill my cup with corruption
For the world is corrupt.
Let me drink of its evil and sorrow
For evil and sorrow are reality.
Let me know its happiness and its grief.
Drag me over the thorns of life
Let me bleed, let me suffer
Let me laugh at the folly of men.
I do not fear pain, for pain is real.
Do not shield my eyes from life’s agony,
Do not cheat me full measure of its bitterness.
Let me see its bitterness
Let me taste its bitterness
Let me know its bitterness —
Till the bitterness turns to sweetness.
Canora, Sask — October, 1959