Letters to the Editor 

How about an apology letter?

Page 7 of 14

Brian Wolfgang Becker

Whistler, BC

( This letter was edited for length. For the full version please go to www.piquenewsmagazine.com )



Everyone is a poet.

This year Whistler's Readers and Writers Festival October 14-16 is all about poetry.

Remember? When you were six or seven or eight? And your words burned brightly, as John Keats said of poetry. Because you felt deeply. And saw. Really saw things.

Then you grew up. And read poetry in school that was nothing like your poetry. Or you were embarrassed to read your poetry. It was just a little too... revealing.

If you go back, inside your inside voice. I bet there are poems lingering there. Waiting for you.

At this year's Festival we have the Scottish poet John Glenday, short-listed for the Griffin International Poetry Prize for his collection Grain. Pick up a copy of his book. It's a true paperback. A slim volume that you can shove in your back pocket and pull out and read and reread anywhere: on a bus, waiting on a curb, on a plane, on a train or a gondola, waiting for your friend at dinner. His poems are like gemstones - polished and perfect.

We have Barbara Adler too, spoken word poet extraordinaire. She will delight you with her smart fast riffs and long trailing stories that swirl like a twister. Her poems are funny and informative and poignant and beautiful. And how does she remember all of those words? The one about the sealing wax made me weep. Then she picked up her accordion and I wanted to dance. I was thinking we have to bring her to Whistler. So we asked her. And she said yes.

I'd doing a workshop at the festival too: Out of Chaos: Cultivating Calm. About bringing together wildly incompatible things. Your things.

My father-in-law is a geologist and he told me once that at the bottom of the ocean there is a layer of basalt stone. I've probably embellished what he said, but I saw solid rock that connected the whole of earth. That's where my poems come from. I dive down to that rocky place where all oceans meet, and I look at things, and then I dredge, dredge. Bringing up a bit of this and a bit of that, always trying to make things connect.

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