The Hermit Poet

May 28, 2007

The Last Few Days…

Filed under: General — Neil Aitken @ 9:15 am

The last few days have been wonderful — in fact, if the entire past year had been so wonderful, I’d probably be having a harder time leaving Vancouver. It seems that only as you prepare to leave a place does it suddenly seem to come alive and reveal itself and its joys.

Over the past week I’ve had the opportunity to:

  • attend Marivaux’s “Triumph of Love” at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre with a friend (entertaining overall, but some performances could have been stronger)
  • have a belated birthday party for myself with a group of close writer friends from the community — great intellectual conversations, good stories, and a lot of laughter
  • run a poetry workshop on “mapping your mythic landscape” — a more psychological / deep critical look at what images and tendencies show up in your poetry and what significance they might hold. Major breakthroughs and epiphanies for almost everyone. We all learned something about ourselves.
  • attend a poetry reading given by five well-known Vancouver poets who read poems from their favorite “dead poet” — heard from David Zieroth (reading John Newlove); Fiona Lam (reading Bronwen Wallace); Harvey De Roo (reading George Johnston); Cathy Stonehouse (reading W.S. Graham); and Russell Thornton (reading Irving Layton)
  • hangout with Harvey De Roo and Denise (a local writer friend) and chat for a couple hours about translation, opera, and poetry
  • get rid of all my furniture (huge relief) and sleep on the floor in the front room with the shades up on the big window looking out over the valley and the bridge. Gorgeous view at night. Never had a chance to do this before because all my furniture was in the way

Now my things are almost all packed away in the car and I’m doing some final bits of cleaning and tidying. I hope to be on the road by 11 am. It’s shaping up to be a beautiful day.

I think I might make an extra trip back in mid-July to visit a few writing friends for a final dinner. The workshop was such a success that they’ve expressed interest in bringing me up in the summer to run a longer series at a retreat. I’m flattered, but intrigued — it sounds like a lot of fun.

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