Colleen Thibaudeau’s “Letter Eight”

Letter Eight

Place was that piece of ground between house and swing,
yielding to the foot,
covered with reddened strawberry leaves
and that small vine that isn’t wintergreen.

Among the cedars, some of them struggling still like old limbo dancers,

covered with a lighter green lichen,

there on the day that William Faulkner died I came and stood
and even if I had not willed it so, down my head would have gone down,

thinking definitely about something:
God, how I love this little part of ground.

Colleen Thibaudeau, 1974

Near Jericho Beach, Vancouver, BC February 2017
Near Jericho Beach, February 2017

 

“Letter Eight” is from Colleen Thibaudeau’s elegiac sequence Ten Letters (1975) available from Brick Books. The Ten Letters sequence also appears in The Artemesia Book (1991).

((( ο )))  Listen to Jean McKay read “Letter Eight” here: https://audioboom.com/posts/886698-jean-mckay-reads-letter-eight-by-colleen-thibaudeau-from-the-artemesia-book-poems-selected-and-new

Colleen Thibaudeau, Summer 1977 in London, Ontario
Colleen Thibaudeau, Summer 1977 in London, Ontario

Little Anne Running, Big Anne Shopping & Another Anne’s Mysterious Visiting Birds

Little Anne runs from flower to flower to flower
honey-haired happy every minute every hour.
Big Anne shops successfully and hardly stops.
Another Anne’s house abounds with the evening sounds and even words
of mysterious visiting birds.

*

Little Anne tosses sticks into River Thames
this is one of her camping games.
Big Anne reads on the beach and lets the waves reach her.
Another Anne says, ‘Well Polly how pretty you are.’ And ‘Just
listen to that canary up there.’

*

Little Anne Running, Big Anne shopping and reading on the beach,
Another Anne tending her mysterious visiting birds;
These Annes appear in different strips, unknown each to each,
so make their first acquaintance here in a blur of words.

Colleen Thibaudeau, 1984

“Little Anne Running” first appeared in The Martha Landscapes, available from Brick Books. Later the poem was set to music by Oliver Whitehead and featured in Adam Corrigan Holowitz’s play Colleening (2013).

 

Colleen’s granddaughter Edie Reaney Chunn (August 2000) (Photo by Yuki Imamura)
Colleen’s St. Thomas friend June Rose on a visit to London, Ontario (Summer 1974)
June Rose and Colleen Thibaudeau, Port Stanley, Ontario (Summer 1990)