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Monday, 22 October 2012

Ray Souster: Two Last Poems


October 22, 2012


Dear Friends,

            Below are two of the last poems Raymond Souster wrote. One is a love poem (Ray never stopped writing love poems) and the other is one of his best Christian poems.

Best wishes,

            . . . James (Deahl)



Silver Creek


She has become
the magical silver creek
of his boyhood’s hot
summer afternoon,
meandering lazily
beneath a leafy canopy
through which
the mottled sunshine
faintly shines.

Now in his imagination
he cups both hands
and dips them in
her gently murmuring stream,
getting at least
one thirsty sip
of her life-renewing water
with the certainty
that her wondrous presence
will never happen again
in his lifetime.




Good Friday


While 4,700
advance poll election stations
are being readied across
the length and breadth
of this fair land,
Roman soldiers
are tying the wrists
and nailing the feet
of our Jesus Christ,
and while children
are hunting excitedly
through the grass
for chocolate-covered eggs
of Easter,
His thirst-driven cries
are being cruelly answered
by those same soldiers
raising on a pole
to His lips
a cloth soaked in vinegar,
and while Earth Day celebrations
occurring at the same time
find many people
planting much needed trees,
the tortured head
of the Son of God
sinks down
and with a last moan of pain
is released from this world.



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 Chris -
I'll have a piece about Ray in my column on Wednesday.
cheers,
- Joe (Fiorito)
Toronto Star

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Hi Chris,
    It was with great sadness that I learned of Ray Souster's
passing.   He made such a large contribution to our country's
literature.  His work will live on.
    He was always very kind to me over the years.  Many of his
handwriiten poems are happily residing in my collection in Calgary.
    There will always be a place in my heart for Ray Souster.
    Take care.
    Marvin (Orbach)
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Raymond Souster, Toronto poet, dies at 90

Published on Monday October 22, 2012

Rene Johnston/TORONTO STAR file photo Raymond Souster, pictured here in 2000, won the Governor General's Award in 1964 for The Colour of the Times.
Paul Irish
Entertainment Reporter
3 Comments
Raymond Souster — often described as Toronto’s unofficial poet laureate — died this past Friday at the age of 91.

Growing up in the west end of Toronto, his writing career spanned almost 70 years with the author still penning works until recently.

Well known for his focus on Toronto, he won the prestigious Governor General’s Award in 1964 for his collected poems The Colour of the Times, as well as being instrumental in the forming of the League of Canadian Poets in 1966, of which he was the president from 1967 to 1972.
His poems — with titles such as Ten Elephants on Yonge St. — probed the everyday nuances of life in a large city focusing on “ordinary citizens.”

A tribute was held for the late poet on his last birthday, Jan. 15, where an annual writing prize in his name was announced, but he was unable to attend due to health reasons.

Correction: This article has been edited from a previous version that mistakenly said Souster died at 90. The previous version also said he grew up in Humberside.

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Ed Baker has left a new comment on your post "Ray Souster: Two Last Poems":

that first poem Silver Creek especially the second stanza

"she" 's the same muse that drives my bus.. (though I 'use' her differently than he does slightly (?)
sorry that i didn't get into his work in the seventies when Cid mentioned him to me along with Layton and some others "up there"

a long drop-out period for me 1975-1998 and now
that I am back... for me lots of new things

good thing I am now 72 and my style (of writing and rating) is set ... no need to imitate



Posted by Ed Baker to Riffs & Ripples from ZenRiver Gardens at 22 October 2012 15:01

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1 comment:

Ed Baker said...

that first poem Silver Creek especially the second stanza

"she" 's the same muse that drives my bus.. (though I 'use' her differently than he does slightly (?)
sorry that i didn't get into his work in the seventies when Cid mentioned him to me along with Layton and some others "up there"

a long drop-out period for me 1975-1998 and now
that I am back... for me lots of new things

good thing I am now 72 and my style (of writing and rating) is set ... no need to imitate