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Glimpses from Cascadia Poetry Festival Day Two

As I sit here in the last light of my hotel lamps, exhausted, I know both contentment and the ravages of a mind bowled over by experience from listening.IMG_8678Epiphany number one of the day – language is an organism. It can die or be killed, it can be an invasive species, it can flourish and it's literature pervade the minds of many generations.


What if we taught First Nation languages in schools instead of or along side Ancient Greek? What would we learn if we knew the first languages of the lands we now walk and inhabit?IMG_8780Epiphany number two – my mind can still be blown by poetry and when it is so open the field opens and words rush out a waterfall to paper.


A waterfall is bridge between earth, water, and sky. Think about that.

  IMG_8777Epiphany number three (way less important) Nanaimo bars are very tasty when they are made raw organic dairy free and gluten free, I think I am ruined for any other version after experiencing the joy of cashew cream and date almond crust.


To hear the words of so many poets living in this bioregion of Cascadia, and to have the conversation of Cascadia itself brimming from those lines of poetry and the unique experience of each individual translated into image, reverberating into the song of a culture, is such a gift. I accept it with gratitude and with gratitude I share my experience.


From Denise Levertov, "The world is not with us enough. O taste and see." A line from the title poem of the book O Taste and See published in 1964, a year after the Vancouver Poetry Conference, a gathering of American and Canadian poets in 1963 at the University of British Columbia to listen to  and dialogue with Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, Alan Ginsburg and Denise Levertov. It is perhaps one of the first acts of Cascadian poetic history.


From the same poem, Denise says, "If anything all that lives to the imaginations tongue … Breathe them, bite, savor, chew, swallow, transform."


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