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Alden Nowlan

When He Went to the Store for a Loaf of Bread


Readings from
When He Went to the Store for a Loaf of Bread book cover
Qty:

Alden Nowlan, who died in 1983, is widely recognized as one of the most important poets to appear in Canada in the last thirty years. Nowlan speaks in a voice at once personal and rhetorical, sketching with equal precision the psychologocal paradoxes of the powt's inner world and the political complexities of the outer world. In What Happened When He Went to the Store for Bread, poet and editor Thomas R. Smith introduces this essential North American poet to a new generation of readers in the United States.

Below are some poems from a reading that Robert Bly and Thomas Smith did in 1994 at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.



Listen to an MP3 WebCast Robert Bly on Alden Nowlan
Robert Bly talks about what he admires in Alden Nowlan's poetry.

Listen to an MP3 WebCast What Happened When He Went to the Store for Bread
The title poem for Thomas R. Smith's anthology. Read by Thomas R. Smith.

Listen to an MP3 WebCast He Sits Down on the Floor of a School for the Retarded
Robert Bly's favorite Alden Nowlan poem. Read by Robert Bly.

Listen to an MP3 WebCast The Rites of Manhood
Read by Robert Bly.

Listen to an MP3 WebCast The Thief
This poem touches on the theme of boys' terror of women. Read by Robert Bly.

Listen to an MP3 WebCast The People Who Are Gone
Micmac Indian storytellers began their stories "In the days of the people who are gone ..." Read by Thomas R. Smith.

Listen to an MP3 WebCast In Praise of the Great Bull Walrus
Read by Thomas R. Smith.

Listen to an MP3 WebCast The Perfectability of Man
A poem with a well-done interesting twist. Read by Robert Bly.

Listen to an MP3 WebCast The Seasick Sailor, and Others
Jibes and tributes about Melville, Hemmingway, and others ... Read by Robert Bly.


Readings from
When He Went to the Store for a Loaf of Bread book cover
Qty:

T.R. Smith
edited by
Thomas R. Smith

Here's my review of the book:

Thomas R. Smith, ed., What Happened When He Went to the Store for Bread: Poems by Alden Nowlan. (St. Paul, MN: Nineties Press, 1994)(Ally Press Center)(Forward by Robert Bly.)

Alden Nowlan, who died in 1983, is virtually unknown in the United States, but widely recognized as one of the most important Canadian poets in the last thirty years. Robert Bly says of him, "He belongs to the brave ones, those who can talk of terrible things, and in his art, still remember that we are listening. Like Kafka, he can look at the ordinary events with the eyes of the unprivileged. ... We could call him a teacher of grief. He doesn't pull us away into the sky, nor hint elegantly at what he wants to say and will later, but instead he wants everything in this poem. This moment of suffering and confusion is the real place where we touch our reason for being born."

One of the most powerful poems is "Rites of Manhood." A drunken sailor stands over a kneeling woman long past midnight on a freezing night. " and what keeps this from being squalid is/what's happening to him inside:/if there were other sailors here/.../he could joke about it/later but he's alone and the guilt can't be/divided into small, unforgettable pieces;/he's finding out what it means/ to be a man and how different it is/ from way that only hours ago he imagined it."

Other poems describe his father's life as a laborer in desolate Nova Scotia: "There are men here/ who have never heard of Canada." Or his own aging. Or an emperor tiger who stops and turns where he chooses, and has never forgotten himself by coming within three feet of the bars of his cage in the Dublin Zoo.

The book and the tape of this poetry reading are both available from Ally Press. Free newsletter. 1-800-729-3002. Click here to go to their Web on-line catalog - but please come back! (They have a link back to us at the bottom of their Home Page.)

Poems by Thomas R. Smith

This appeared in:
The Dark Indigo Current
Holy Cow! Press
$12.95
Qty:

Affectionate Witness, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem, published in Mr. Smith's most recent book, The Dark Indigo Current, was first published in M.E.N. Magazine.

The Boy Who Crawled, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem, published in Mr. Smith's most recent book, The Dark Indigo Current, was first published in M.E.N. Magazine.

The Reply, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem was published in Mr. Smith's most recent book, The Dark Indigo Current.

The Road to Kenora, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem was published in Mr. Smith's most recent book, The Dark Indigo Current.

Admiring My Father, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem was published in Mr. Smith's most recent book, The Dark Indigo Current.

My Father Promised Me a Sword, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem first appeared in M.E.N. Magazine, and was published in Mr. Smith's first poetry book Horse of Earth.

The Cruel One, by Thomas R. Smith

The Boy Who Crawled, by Thomas R. Smith

Come In from the Rain!, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem originally appeared in M.E.N. Magazine, and was published in Mr. Smith's first poetry book Horse of Earth.

Late for Thanksgiving Dinner, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem was published in Mr. Smith's first poetry book Horse of Earth.


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