Friday, April 27, 2007

Lines from Saskatchewan

As we come closer to the end of National Poetry Month, I thought I'd share a few poets from my home province of Saskatchewan. Anne Szumigalski was born in England in 1922 and died just a few short years ago, in 1999. She was a huge presence in literary circles, being a founding member of the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild, and the literary journal Grain, among other things. She was a Governor General's Award-winning poet as well. Here is a poem from her posthumous collection, When Earth leaps up. (London,ON: Brick Books, 2006)

Untitled ("glory to the queen …")

glory to the queen whoever she is
wherever she finds herself as she moves
up and down round and round
all the spaces that are hers

once she was a young thing and jumped
easily over any fence any line
now she's an old woman thick and earthy

by tomorrow she hopes to leap
out of this skin and into a new one
a skin like petals like leaves

Anne Szumigalski


  1. hi, Melanie, thanks for posting this poem. And we really should get together one of these days - we're just down the road from each other...


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  3. Hi Kitty, thanks for the comment. Email me next time you're coming to town!

  4. Melanie, I didn't know that Saskatchewan is your home province. Mine too! What a pleasure to encounter an Anne Szumigalski poem on your blog. Have you ever seen the film about Szumigalski titled "Rapture of the Deep"? I saw it a few times on BookTV and on the documentary channel before I got rid of my digital cable. It's wonderful--great footage of Szumigalski reading from and talking about her work alternating with long shots of the prairie landscape in which so many of her poems are rooted.

  5. Kate - Hurrah, another Saskatchewan expat! I haven't seen "Rapture of the Deep", but it sounds fantastic. I'll have to look out for it now. Any prairie views still make me wax nostalgic, and prairie with poetry, well, how can I say no?


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