Douglas Burnet Smith (Canada)



Poète canadien, né en 1949 à Winnipeg. Auteur de sept recueils de poèmes. Récompensé de nombreuses fois, il obtient par exemple en 1973 The Chancellor's Prize de l'université du Manitoba, The Long Poem Prize de la Malahat Review, et a été nominé en 1993 au Governor General's Award for Poetry pour Voices from a Farther Room. Il doit en grande partie sa réputation à ses magnifiques poèmes en prose, pour la plupart réunis dans son quatrième recueil, Living in the Cave of the Mouth. Il est également connu pour ses poèmes lyriques, politiques ou méditatifs. Professeur à l'université de Manitoba puis à St Francis Xavier University en Nouvelle-Ecosse, il a aussi dirigé pendant plusieurs années la célèbre revue poétique Northern Light. Parmi ses oeuvres, l'on compte également Thaw (1977), Scarecrow (1980) et Ladder to the Moon (1988).



There are bare places
inside us
like the ground under children's swings,
the corners of old pastures
where only bones grow,
smaller than pores
in which the acceptable
festers, golden resorts
where we bury
our heads in white sand,
convinced we are
But we never travel
alone. The anonymous
arrives at the terminal
just ahead of us
knowing there are no planes
on the runways, nothing
but the slow cattle of the moon,
their udders glowing,
swinging heavily
with the knowledge of strange grass.

(Ladder to the Moon, Ilderton [Ontario], © Brick Books - Coldstream, 1988, p. 11)


One day the cat won't come back,

Meanwhile we'll be stuck with all that food and litter
And the same universe that does unaccountably
Exist, the trillion-billion oceans of years

(In light) we're absurdly trying

To chart. Which is why some of us, like
Cats, prefer to live in the dark.
Not to plan
For the future. After all, irregularity

Is no surprise. Neither is to hum a notable ditty,

One with the possibility of an endless rest,
Perhaps numbing yet prompting us to mimic
Panicky Angus in his broad brogue,

"Who wrote this awful tune?!"

Which is like blaming the cat. Anyway, it all
Comes down to ... Pick a card any card.
Look, the trouble with observation - that shiny

Black fur, that switching tail - is that observation itself
Always and never is right at the hairy edge of the possible.
Could those be eyes blinking down nightly consolations?


(Voices from a Farther Room, Toronto, © D. B. Smith/Wolsak and Winn, 1992p. 52)