Friday, January 06, 2006

"Against This Death", Thetyee.ca, Jan 5 06

On Dying, by Irving Layton

Layton, photographed by Dominika Dittwald
The poet was no friend of 'respectable death'.

Published: January 5, 2006
TheTyee.ca

The great Canadian poet Irving Layton died yesterday at the age of 93 in Montreal. This is one of his poems.

AGAINST THIS DEATH

I have seen respectable

death

served up like bread and wine

in stores and offices,

in club and hostel,

and from the streetcorner

church

that faces

two ways

I have seen death

served up

like ice.

Against this death,

slow, certain:

the body,

this burly sun,

the exhalations

of your breath,

your cheeks,

rose and lovely,

and the secret

life

of the imagination

scheming freedom

from labour

and stone.

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