Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Poets United Mid-Week Motif : Saying the Names With Love

This week, fellow poets, I am pinch-hitting for our friend, Susan, who is recovering from recent back surgery.  Let's send her positive vibes, as we await her return. 




Our inspiration today  is Canadian poet Al Purdy's famous poem "Say the Names", written towards the end of his life. (He died in 2001.) The names of the places he loved roll through his poem like a prayer, as he bade farewell to the wild rivers and landscapes he would soon be leaving. 

Purdy was considered Canada's unofficial poet laureate. He was a prolific writer, producing, during his lifetime, 30 volumes of poetry, a novel, two volumes of memoir, and some books of letters and correspondence with other well-known writers.  Here is his famous poem, for your inspiration.

Say the Names
by Al Purdy

--say the names say the names
and listen to yourself
an echo in the mountains
Tulameen Tulameen
say them like your soul
was listening and overhearing
and you dreamed you dreamed
you were a river
Tulameen Tulameen
--not the flat borrowed imitations
of foreign names
not Briton Windsor Trenton
but names that ride the wind
Spillimacheen and Nahanni
Kleena Kleene and Horsefly
Illecillewaet and Whachamacallit
Lillooet and Kluane
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
and the whole sky falling
when the buffalo went down
say them say them remember
if you ever wander elsewhere
"the North as a deed and forever"
Kleena Kleene Nahanni
Osoyoos and Similkameen
say the names
as if they were your soul
lost among the mountains
a soul you mislaid
and found again rejoicing
Tulameen Tulameen

till the heart stops beating
say the names



*Al Purdy's works copyright © to The Estate of Al Purdy.



Mid-Week Motif : Saying the Names With Love

Our challenge this week : think of the names of the places that are most special to you, whose names sing in your heart and soul, the ones that mean Belonging, the names that take you home, and weave them through your poem. If there is only one name, write a poem about that. Take it from there - the format is wide open.


Please share your poem using Mr. Linky below and visit others in the spirit of the community.

                  (Next week Sumana's Midweek Motif will be ~ Beauty )



31 comments:

  1. Thanks for the interesting Midweek Motif theme, Sherry! Looking forward to seeing which names resonate with you all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am, too - I've already read a couple and they are fantastic. Yay!

      Delete
  2. Hello everyone,

    Wooo hoooo its time for Midweek Motif once again and I m soo glad to be sharing this poem with you all :D thank you for such a wonderful prompt Sherry.

    I have to run out on a special errand.. will be back to read and comment later on :D

    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is always nice to see you, Sanaa. I'm looking forward to your poem.

      Delete
    2. So nice to see you too Sherry :D I m back and diving straight into everyone's poems!
      xoxo

      Delete
  3. Thank you for stepping in Sherry - and get well wishes to Susan - East, West, home's best ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I cant wait to see what Alice has to say about place names, LOL. Susan is slowly mending, we heard from her just this morning.

      Delete
  4. Hello friends, for some reasons unknown to me I can't access WordPress blogs. So I would like to request my WordPress friends to leave your link in my comment box. Let me try this way if I can get to your blogs. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What an annoying problem, Sumana. I do hope someone can figure out a solution for you!!!

      Delete
    2. Wow, I keep hearing that wordpress can be problematical when it comes to commenting..

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. Nice to see you this morning, Gail. I know you live on a piece of history on your old family farm. You dont have to go far for the place that says Home to you!

      Delete
  6. Wonderful stuff, thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is a wonderful prompt.Thank you Sherry.It made me write about a place that got imprinted in my heart and also taught me something valuable.
    Prayers for Susan. Hope she recovers soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A wonderful poem, and your photos are so beautiful.

      Delete
  8. Sending healing vibes to Susan

    Sherry thanks for today's prompt

    much love...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan will appreciate the healing vibes. Thanks, Gillena.

      Delete
  9. I'm baaaack! Thanks for the prompt, Sherry.
    Best wishes to Susan for a speedy recovery.
    I'm taking you all on a great train journey...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I have been longing for a train trip. Yippee!

      Delete
  10. Thank you Sherry for sitting in for Susan. Hope she's doing well. I like your theme today, and the poet you selected.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The places we love, that live in our heart. Happy to see you, Myrna.

      Delete
  11. Holidaying in Scotland - another place I love - with intermittent service. Looking forward to visiting the places you all love, as technology allows!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice of you to check in, Claire......and your poem is absolutely perfect. Sigh. Enjoy the sights of Scotland....photos for the Pantry perhaps????

      Delete
  12. Decided to join in as it spoke to me tonight. Sending healing intentions out to Susan..

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am late to the pardy, Sherry. But, the prompt was just too good ....Glad Mr Linky accepted the link...
    Thanks a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I so enjoyed reading the varied and wonderful responses to this prompt, kids. Thank you all so very much. I enjoyed where the Muse took you, in so many unique directions. It made for some wonderful reading!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you, for the challenge and wonderful poet and poem for inspiration, Sherry. :)

    ReplyDelete