Home from Canada

I am recently home from Canada & sifting through
provincial magazines & newspapers I picked up along the way.
I am fussing with cameras that don’t want to upload pictures of
deep woods & river otters &
am admiring Emily Carr art cards I brought home.

But today I want to tip you off to Canadian poet Jordan Abel,
whose heritage includes a father from the
First Nation Nisga’a (Tsimshiam),
of the British Columbia mainland.

Jordan Abel is an award-winning literary artist who is likely
to become well known far beyond his land. While we were in
British Columbia he received a $10,000 award for his poetry
& it was delightful to be greeted by positive poetry news
on vacation.

INJUN, his new book, which I haven’t yet read, is a work of
synthesis, & erasure. If you have ever clomped into the mass of
U.S.-produced old Western genre pulps – and some more
recent ones – you owe it to yourself to learn about this book.

If not, you will be interested anyway, if you are keen to feel
the effect all those racists rants have had on one First Nations
child. This child is now a talented poet & is not taking it
any more.

Jordan Abel hangs pulp westerns up by their own stirrups, with
deftness & irony, according to passages I have read
online. I am eager to spend time with his books, including
THE PLACE of SCRAPS. I found out about Jordan Abel from
Marsha Lederman, of The Globe and Mail.
. . . .

I am grateful to my father, Albert Godown, for keeping
accessible important books & articles about Native Americans
in our 1960s living room & for speaking with great respect
of Native peoples, although his only scant connection, and to
a Plains Tribe, was through marriage. So I have long been
attuned to learning from the descendants of those who
arrived on this continent 10,000 or more years ago.

I lost my father when I was in my 20s, but I always come
round, eventually, to happiness, on this
Father’s Day Weekend,
because I could enjoy his steady storytelling that
lasted to the end, his 72nd year.
He drove me from New Jersey into Canada when I was just a kid,
to view my first New Brunswick moose in the wild, & to grow bug-eyed
at the tidal pull of the great Bay of Fundy. On his birthday, in
Canada, I dedicated my recent trip from North Florida to the other
Canadian shore, to him.

Happy Father’s Day.

. . . .

Somewhere on Vancouver Island near Victoria, the province’s capitol city.

Emily Carr

Emily Carr, Canadian genius “Among the Firs”/ Emily Carr House

British Columbia<

If you would like to dip into wonderful POETRY FRIDAY it is collected with a great
post about the new Poet Laureate at the Library of Congress, by the generous Carol’s Corner.

11 thoughts on “Home from Canada

  1. I’d like to know about this author. That cover is compelling, as are your words: “Jordan Abel hangs pulp westerns up by their own stirrups…”


  2. Yes, good fathers remain with us. They put a floor under the feet of who we are. Here’s to all fathers both present and gone. Even if we can’t send a card or cook them a dinner, they live on in our memories.


  3. Love your words “sifting through.” It’s a fun way to relive a trip and decide what’s worth keeping. I’m wondering if you know about the book The Four Pictures of Emily Carr which I recently returned to our library unread. I’m requesting it again. “Among the Firs” is a lovely pic, filled with movement.


    • Thanks so much Ramona. Quite startled about this synchronicity. I don’t know that E.C. title – thanks for sharing it. Hope you can get the book back & that it’s
      illuminating. So glad we share an interest in Ms. Carr.


  4. Oh,my goodness…what wonderful travels you have taken! I love how you find poetry wherever you go. Thanks for sharing special moments in literature. I’m headed to WA state in just a couple of days. I really look forward to some northwest first people’s lore!


    • Excited for what you will bring back in knowledge of First Peoples, Linda.
      To journey from the Atlantic coast to the West shore is to change not only time zones
      but geographic vistas, accents, foods, history.
      Like B.C., that region extends from coast-less mountains, to the pounding rock shore.
      Which ever part you explore, Happy Trails to you!


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