Monday, May 4, 2015

Margaret Avison*

Margaret Avison (1918—2007) is a Canadian poet who has been describe in large language by many. George Bowering, Canada's first Poet Laureate, referred to her as, “the best poet we have had,” and Michael Higgins, of St. Thomas University, has called her “arguably Canada’s pre-eminent poet writing in English.” Judith Fitzgerald, writing in the Globe and Mail, described her as: “An original, an authentic visionary without the flashily splashy trappings so often accorded those whose egos impose themselves upon others in their dubiously designated ‘poetry,’ Avison praises Creation in all its transplendent awesome/awful mutations.”

The following poem comes from her posthumous book Listening: last poems (2009). My review of that collection, for Trinity Western University's journal, Verge, is available here.

The Eternal One

can winkle out
an unacknowledged
doubt, or a hedged memory
in the dim way of being
between His timelessnesses.

His nestlings are
sheltered within
deep-bosomed trees;
these raise soft domes, care
for the air. We breathe.
Underneath, when
stunned by sunmelt
their felt dimness
is shimmery rest.
Unquestioning at last,
much, lost or unremembered,
murmurs peacefully
under His
timeless largesse.

*This is the second Kingdom Poets post about Margaret Avison: first post, third post.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest poetry collection, Conspiracy of Light: Poems Inspired by the Legacy of C.S. Lewis, is available from Wipf & Stock as is his earlier award-winning collection, Poiema.