Tuesday, October 09, 2007

E.D. (Ted) Blodgett - Poet Laureate

E.D. (Ted) Blodgett, has published 17 books of poetry, of which 2 were awarded the Governor General's Award.

Alberta’s capital and the 2007 Cultural Capital of Canada, announced the appointment of its second poet laureate on July 3, 2007.

Mayor Stephen Mandel, in announcing Edmonton poet and writer E. D. Blodgett as poet laureate of Edmonton from July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2009, underlined Edmonton’s solid recognition of the key role that the arts play in Canada’s major cities and towns.

Poetry and Cities

Should someone ask whether Edmonton needs a poet laureate, I would ask another question: Do cities need poetry?

In response I would say that there are two kinds of cities. There are those who have poetry and those who need it. The former are cities like Prague, Rome, and the lost cities of the Three Gorges in China. These are cities that have had dreams of their pasts and various visions of their futures and have lived in a present that held their pasts and futures together.

Such dreams endowed them with architecture, with intimate turnings, and where it is possible, like entering a room, to see and feel their poetry as a special kind of air that falls over the skin. Few cities in the world have this quality, and the rest prefer to live continually on the edge of an often chaotic future, removing the past as frequently as possible.

If poetry offers anything, it offers futures by its recoveries of different kinds of past, of speaking, as it were, in the position of all kinds of lost objects - old watches, a child's shoe, a mother's comb. It remakes the architecture of forgotten moments and so intimates that cities are not solely places where people meet, earn livings, and disappear.

In that sense, poetry recovers the life that most cities tend to remove, whether in the name of urban renewal or new marketing schemes or simply to be trendy.

Poetry recovers life and makes it speak of what we were, how we are, what we might want to be, and all of this almost simultaneously.

Poetry gives us what we miss, and if we miss it, we miss something unrecoverable that the future arriving seamlessly takes away.

E.D. Blodgett
E-mail Ted Blodgett