Thursday, November 13, 2014
Garry Thomas Morse on George Bowering
When I first met George Bowering I was still singing Italian arias and he would only answer in Spanish. I never listened when he called Rimbaud (or someone) a little puke but I picked up the lingo anyway. In spite of all the leaves of poetry I gave him, his response was almost Buddhist in nature; but, man, when you listened to him read a sonnet by Archibald Lampman or talk enthusiastically about those Montreal cats like Artie Gold and three-headed dogs like Irving Layton and Louis Dudek . . . and the other guy . . . man, then you were a believer in CanLit, zeow! Then he would pitch you curve balls like Lola Lemire Tostevin or George Stanley. At one point, I threatened to leap out of a window, but that didn't stop George. He was always willing (allegedly) to head to Helen's Grill to talk about The Double Hook and other Canadian stumpers.