Humble is the intensity of
It lies there
too small to cast a shadow,
as the invisible is too large, compassing
light and shadow both;
yet there is
a bond that makes them one.
(From Always Now: Collected Poems of Margaret Avison)
July 1st is Canada day, and it fell on a Monday where I on occasion write about Margarets, and I thought of the Canadian poet Margaret Avison. I am sure I read some of her poems in high school in Canada, as her name appeared unbidden, but when I started to read more about her, I did not realize that she wrote contemplative poems, poems arising out of her renewal of Christian faith in 1963. She grew up the daughter of a Methodist minister, and had some missing years from the church.
While reading about Margaret Avison, I came across a blog called A Month with Margaret, and when I looked at the author of this blog, I recognized a familiar name, Sally Ito, also a Canadian poet. She studied poetry at the University of Alberta with my father. I remember reading Sally Ito’s work when I was writing my own poems, and resonating with her imagery from the Bible and faith. Sally spent a month with Margaret Avison, in the archives, gathering the sense of the late poet, and reflecting upon her.
What a lovely serendipity to find A Month with Margaret on Margaret Monday!