Monday, May 16, 2011

George Whipple

George Whipple was born in New Brunswick in 1927, grew up in Toronto, and presently lives in British Columbia. He is the author of eleven poetry collections, and has attracted the praise of such literary figures as: Northrop Frye, Louis Dudek, John B. Lee, and Margaret Avison.

He has translated poetry from French, and is a visual artist — often adding line drawings to his poetry collections. His inspiration sometimes comes from painters, particularly those associated with Canada’s “Group of Seven”. The cover illustrations for the two volumes of his collected poetry (the third, not yet released by Penumbra Press), feature paintings by Tom Thomson.

His inspiration often comes from his faith and from the natural world around him.

When asked “How does a longstanding spiritual discipline connect to the practice of writing poetry?” he said — “My spiritual life and my poetry are one. The secret, sacred revelations given to me since as far back as I can remember, intuitions of eternity unfolding in time, were poetry to me before I had any presumptions of preparing myself to be a writer...” (Poetry And Spiritual Practice).

Praise
-------------for M. Travis Lane

I praise
----heron, hare,
--------hawk and grouse,
doodlebug and slug,
----kinkajou and kittiwake,
--------barracuda, kangaroo,
and shining in the ear
----lobe of the sky
--------the diamond earring
------------of a 747.

I praise
----rutabaga, goober,
--------sassafras and cannabis,
kinnikinic and kale,
----and each morning Him
--------who gives the present
------------of the present
--------every day — the past
------------already opened,
the future in the mail.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. He is the award-winning author of the poetry collections Poiema (Wipf & Stock) and So The Moon Would Not Be Swallowed (Rubicon Press). They are both available at: www.dsmartin.ca