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Margaret Avison(1918-2007): Intensity of the Seed

Margaret Avison reading poem
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Margaret Avison reading poem via the Word Guild on Flickr(2004)


Humble is the intensity of
a seed.

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!


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