Moving the Poet’s home

I see a world where houses are preserved  not demolished.   I saw this last night.

In one sleepy Victoria neighborhood yesterday evening, the neighbours were wide awake.  Crowding round the water on Beach Dr, folks were out watching the burley and seasoned Nickel Bros crew move a full-size home from where it had stood proudly for decades.  It was going to a young family who live up Island in an even sleepier town called Chemainus.

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This home was the second house ever to be built on Exeter Road.  Talking to some folks I learned that it belonged to P.K. Page, Canada’s celebrated poet.  How poetic that her dwelling will live on.  Instead of demolishing a solid, historic home, it is going to be floated up the coast and be given another incarnation.  I see it grooving with a family that subscribes to today’s penchant for elegant mid-century-modern esthetics.

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Documentary filmmaker  Arthur Makosinski recently finished a film about the poets’ latter years called “Looking for Something”.   I just got off the phone with him.  Art tells me that P.K. Page was a wonderful person and a great poet.  She wrote right up to the end of her 93 years.  I wish I had bumped into her in the ‘hood before she died.  Art was saddened to see her house go, a place he spent much time in.  He sighed that it was too bad she had recently upgraded the heating or plumbing.  I tried to cheer him up saying, this is what she, a beautiful voice and one that loved the Earth, would have wanted.  Instead of wanton destruction I see so much of in Real Estate, her house was being preserved.

Bittersweet at worst.

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I found her most famous poem called Planet Earth.  This poem was chosen by the United Nations to bring the world closer together.  Here are the first 3 lines:

Planet Earth, By P.K. Page

It has to be loved the way a laundress loves her linens, 

the way she moves her hands caressing the fin

knowing their warp and woof,

© 1994 P.K. Page

Here is a link to the full poem.  It is beautiful.

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