Alden Nowlan Poems

Alden Nowlan Poems,One of the best-known and most popular Canadian poet, novelist and journalists, Alden Nowlan would overcome great adversity to garner acclaim for his work, such as the Governor General’s Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Alden Nowlan Poems
Alden Nowlan Poems

He was born January 25th 1933 in Nova Scotia to a dirt-poor family. Gordon Freeman Nowlan (Alden’s father) was a labourer. His mother was only fifteen years old when she gave birth to Alden and abandoned the family soon afterwards, leaving behind him and a younger sister. Alden was born into a family who failed to see the virtue of education, and the boy received very little teaching, leaving school at ten. At fourteen, he started work in a local sawmill. His desire for knowledge, however, led him to clandestinely visit a library several miles away, where he started to learn and study. He said of his father’s attitude at this time,

Nowlan died on June 27th 1983. He is buried at Poet’s Corner, Forest Hill cemetery, New Brunswick.

Alden Nowlan Poems
Alden Nowlan Poems

Aleister Crowley Poems

A Poem About Miracles

Why don’t the records go blank
the instant the singer dies?
Oh, I know there are explanations
but they don’t convince me
I’m still surprised
When I hear the dead singing
As for orchestra’s
I expect the Instruments
To fall silent one by one
as the musicians succumb
to cancer and heart disease
so that toward the end
I turn on a disc
labelled Gotterdammerung
and all that comes out
is the sound of one sick old man
scraping a shaky bow
across an out-of-tune fiddle.
Alden Nowlan Poems
Alden Nowlan Poems

Broadcaster’s Poem

I used to broadcast at night
alone in a radio station
but I was never good at it
partly because my voice wasn’t right
but mostly because my peculiar
metaphysical stupidity
made it impossible
for me to keep believing
their was somebody listening
when it seemd I was talking
only to myuself in a room no bigger
than an ordinary bathroom
I could believe it for a while
and then I’d get somewhat
the same feeling as when you
start to suspect you’re the victim
of a practical joke
So one part of me
was afraid another part
might blurt out something
about myself so terrible
that even I had never until
that moment suspected itThis was like the fear
of bridges and other
high places: Will I take off my glasses
and throw them
into the water, although I’m
half blind without them?
Will I sneak up behind
myself and push?Another thing:
As a reporter
I covered an accident in which a train
ran into a car, killing
three young men, one of whom
was beheaded. The bodies looked
boneless, as such bodies do
More like mounds of rags
and inside the wreckage
where nobody could get at it
the car radio
was still playing

I thought about places
the disc jockey’s voice goes
and the things that happen there
and of how impossible it would be for him
to continue if he really knew.

Alden Nowlan Poems
Alden Nowlan Poems

The Anatomy of Angels

Angels inhabit love songs. But they’re sprites
not seraphim. The angel that up-ended
Jacob had sturdy calves, moist hairy armpits,
stout loins to serve the god whom she befriended,and was adept at wrestling. She wore
a cobra like a girdle. Yet his bone
mending he spent some several tedious weeks
marking the bed they’d shared, with a great stone.
Alden Nowlan Poems
Alden Nowlan Poems

The Bull Moose

Down from the purple mist of trees on the mountain,
lurching through forests of white spruce and cedar,
stumbling through tamarack swamps,
came the bull moose
to be stopped at last by a pole-fenced pasture.Too tired to turn or, perhaps, aware
there was no place left to go, he stood with the cattle.
They, scenting the musk of death, seeing his great head
like the ritual mask of a blood god, moved to the other end
of the field, and waited.The neighbours heard of it, and by afternoon
cars lined the road. The children teased him
with alder switches and he gazed at them
like an old, tolerant collie. The woman asked
if he could have escaped from a Fair.

The oldest man in the parish remembered seeing
a gelded moose yoked with an ox for plowing.
The young men snickered and tried to pour beer
down his throat, while their girl friends took their pictures.

And the bull moose let them stroke his tick-ravaged flanks,
let them pry open his jaws with bottles, let a giggling girl
plant a little purple cap
of thistles on his head.

When the wardens came, everyone agreed it was a shame
to shoot anything so shaggy and cuddlesome.
He looked like the kind of pet
women put to bed with their sons.

So they held their fire. But just as the sun dropped in the river
the bull moose gathered his strength
like a scaffolded king, straightened and lifted his horns
so that even the wardens backed away as they raised their rifles.

When he roared, people ran to their cars. All the young men
leaned on their automobile horns as he toppled.

Alden Nowlan Poems
Alden Nowlan Poems

The Mysterious Naked Man

A mysterious naked man has been reported
on Cranston Avenue. The police are performing
the usual ceremonies with coloured lights and sirens.
Almost everyone is outdoors and strangers are conversing
excitedly
as they do during disasters when their involvement is
peripheral.’What did he look like?’ the lieutenant is asking.
‘I don’t know,’ says the witness. ‘He was naked.’
There is talk of dogs–this is no ordinary case
of indecent exposure, the man has been seen
a dozen times since the milkman spotted him and now
the sky is turning purple and voices
carry a long way and the children
have gone a little crazy as they often do at dusk
and cars are arriving
from other sections of the city.And the mysterious naked man
is kneeling behind a garbage can or lying on his belly
in somebody’s garden
or maybe even hiding in the branches of a tree,
where the wind from the harbour
whips at his naked body,
and by now he’s probably done
whatever it was he wanted to do
and wishes he could go to sleep
or die
or take to the air like Superman.

Alden Nowlan Poems
Alden Nowlan Poems

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