These poems span a time period of 35 years, beginning with an ‘angry young man’ poem written upon leaving my hometown of Canora, Sask., Canada in 1959. I went out to seek my fame and fortune initially as a poet in Vancouver then as a subversive academic in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1969. The last poem in this series was written in 1994 with the realisation that I had become what I most railed against — a bourgeois.
The poems have been arranged in chronological order and do not present any particular overriding theme but are poetic snapshots of places, events and people written at the time and have not been ‘reworked’ since. They resemble an album of family photos each with their own stories to tell. Some comments have been added to a few of the poems.
The poems can be grouped into the following:
- Early poems — 1959 – 1960
- Canora, Sask — 1960
- Ottawa, Ont — 1961 – 1962
- Vancouver, B.C. — 1962 – 1969
- Dunedin, NZ — 1969 – 1994
- Purakanui, NZ — 1977 – 1994 (Purakanui is a small idyllic seaside settlement of holiday batches or ‘cribs’ about 15 km from Dunedin).
These poems are messages to myself and represent my search for a meaning to life — its triumphs and despairs. Some of the poems may resonate with your own story.