on the death of paterson ewen

this is a light, a

& goes by temporarily

a mark made deep, a gouge
in wood panel

“portraying sweeping vistas”

of distinction, & goes by

remarkably rare

unscathed, undecorated
for but a year

halleys star, bare stretches
widening blue

for good or bad,
a moment

increasing in demand
& density

Questions and Answers

What inspired “on the death of paterson ewen”?

This poem is from a larger manuscript of pieces that came quickly from the seemingly-mundane, the day to day, writing “the news.” This was the painter Paterson Ewen dying, and my moment of finding the obituary in The Globe and Mail.

What poetic techniques did you use in “on the death of paterson ewen”?

Technique? At this point, I was using halting, short phrases and quick line breaks for a smooth flow down the left side of the page. I wanted something short, snappy, quick. I wanted something that snapped, and sang.

This poem “on the death of paterson ewen” originally appeared in Canadian Literature 177 (Summer 2003): 55-55.

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