Thursday, January 05, 2006

RIP, Irving Layton

One of Canada's great poets has died at the age of 93. He'd been suffering from Alzheimer's disease for many years and so hadn't written anything for a very long time. But when you speak of the great Canadian poets, he was near the top--if not at the top--of the list.

The CBC website is running a good obit.
Also, visit the Irving Layton website.

I was never a huge fan of his writing--prefering the simpler (and to my mind more elegant) work of Fred Cogswell, and the more subtle humour of Al Purdy--but I have to admit that he paved the way for so many of today's fine young Canadian poets.

In recent memory, Maurice Richard (hockey player) and Pierre Trudeau (former PM) both recieved lavish state funerals at Montreal's Notre Dame Cathedral attended by numerous dignitaries. For both, there were long line-ups to file pass their caskets. Somehow, I doubt a mere poet will rate such treatment.

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