At the Ice Palace

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Questions and Answers

What inspired “At the Ice Palace”?

Actually, a poet-friend of mine challenged me to write poems about The West Edmonton Mall. A shopping mall didn’t seem to us a very likely location for poetry, but it proved to be a rich mine to plunder! This particular poem was inspired by an old man I noticed watching the skaters, sipping a cup of chocolate. Section 2 of this poem is about what I imagined he might be thinking.

What poetic techniques did you use in “At the Ice Palace”?

The first section is purely descriptive and narrative; sets the scene, introduces the speaker of the next section. The second section speaks in the voice of Ed Pauperson, tries to use his language, his thought patterns, and tells what he imagines or dreams might happen. The third section brings us back to earth again: the dream is over and reality implodes.

This poem “At the Ice Palace” originally appeared in The Languages of Poetry. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 129 (Summer 1991): 25-26.

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