Saturday, May 11, 2013

Great Canadian Poems For The Aged Vol.1 Illus. Ed. - Michael Boughn

Today's book of poetry:  Great Canadian Poems For The Aged Vol.1 Illus. Ed.  Michael Boughn.  Book Thug.  Toronto, Ontario.  2012.

Northrop Frye said "This is NOT great literature."

But any book with a poem about a beer bottle, Stubbies, is aiming for a piece of my heart.

Michael Boughn is attempting to rewrite Canadian history in his image and does a pretty amusing job of it.

In Great Canadian Poems For The Aged Vol.1 Illus. Ed. Boughn takes on Nelson Eddy, Jeanette MacDonald, Doukhobors, Wawa, Ontario and Wyndham Lewis (to name but a few) with fairly traditional four line stanzas.  The form is fairly standard but Michael Boughn brings a curious twist indeed -- the unbridled play of his vivid imagination that gives full voice and definition to his new vision of the Great White North.

The Mad Trapper of Rat River makes an appearance with Jimmy Stewart and Boughn doesn't blink, but sets them both a place at his marvellous feast.

Boughn colours outside the edges whenever the need arises and constantly surprises with the breadth of his wit.  These poems come on hard, they have sharp edges and I'm sure it is on purpose.  Michael Boughn's poems move forward with unapologetic determination, consistent in their direction, yet it is the comedy that wins over the reader.

This is an illustrated book and as advertised there are pictures that appear as headings for a number of the poems.  A nice complimentary party trick but these poems work on their own.

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