Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Purdy, Pinsent, prosody and apostles

Al Purdy's very topical just now. Not only is his Rooms for Rent in the Outer Planets: Selected Poems, 1962-1996 up for Canada Reads , the CBC is airing a documentary about him called "Yours, Al" this coming Thursday, April 13, on CBC Television's Opening Night. The show stars Gordon Pinsent as Al Purdy and is on at 8 pm local time across Canada.

Meanwhile, I've wantonly picked up yet another book to browse. The house is pretty well carpeted with half-read books on prosody and form these days. Annie Finch, in her new collection of essays, The Body of Poetry: Essays on Women, Form and the Poetic Self , kicks off and out with a chapter on metric diversity, arguing against the championing of iambic pentameter as the premier English meter. "The use of the single label 'iambic' to include lines in other meters, she says, "…may prove to erase what it assumes to include, just as the generic use of the pronoun 'he' - said to include females - arguably erases female presence."

With Easter coming, English cooks are busy making Simnel Cake, pretty much just a fruit cake with marzipan topping, but something virtually unknown on this side of the Atlantic. Apparently its roots lie in another English holiday, Mothering Sunday, which takes place in March. Serving girls were permitted to visit their mothers on this day and the practice was to bring a simnel cake to prove how clever they were (if they made a good one, it would stay moist and tasty till Easter). Its presence at the Easter meal has to do with the 11 marzipan balls that decorate the top, representing all the Apostles except Judas. Perhaps with the new evidence that surfaced last week we can bring the numbers back to an even 12...



Blogger Tracy Hamon said...

I feel purdy...

10:45 p.m.  
Blogger Ken Kowal said...

caught the purdy/pinsent show

an interesting production

they got the hair just right

pinsent's readings of purdy
were not impersonations

should have taped it

CBC's Opening Night
is often the only good thing on TV
for the entire week.

9:29 a.m.  

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