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The More Easily Kept Illusions

The Poetry of Al Purdy

Afterword by Russell Morton Brown
By Al Purdy
Edited by Robert Budde
Subjects Poetry, Literary Criticism, Canadian Literature
Series Laurier Poetry Hide Details
Paperback : 9780889204904, 96 pages, April 2006

Table of contents

Table of Contents for The More Easily Kept Illusions: The Poetry of Al Purdy, selected with an introduction by Robert Budde
Foreword | Neil Besner
Biographical Note
Introduction | Robert Budde
Mind Process re a Faucet
Remains of an Indian Village
Winter Walking
Hockey Players
Home-Made Beer
Eskimo Graveyard
Trees at the Arctic Circle
Tent Rings
When I Sat Down to Play the Piano
At the Quinte Hotel
Love at Roblin Lake
Wilderness Gothic
Lament for the Dorsets
Joint Account
Depression in Namu, BC
Eastbound from Vancouver
The Horseman of Agawa
Flat Tire in the Desert
Inside the Mill
Alive or Not
On Realizing He Has Written Some Bad Poems
After Rain
The Nurselog
A Typical Day in Winnipeg
In the Early Cretaceous
Purely Internal Music
Red Leaves
Earle Birney in Hospital
For Her in Sunlight
Afterword: As the dream holds the real | Russell Morton Brown


Much-loved, cantankerous, and brilliant, Al Purdy galloped across the Canadian literary landscape for decades, grandly embodying the self-taught and hard-living image of the 1960s and ’70s poet. The More Easily Kept Illusions: The Poetry of Al Purdy is a selection of thirty-five poems that includes some of his best-loved and unearths lost and ignored treasures.
Robert Budde introduces the collection with an overview of Purdy’s tumultuous life of letters, his legendary personality, his outrageous antics, his peers, his influences, and the history of his publishing career. Reorganizing Purdy’s body of work, this collection also re-interprets the chronological and thematic development of his writing. Choosing poems for a book like this is necessarily an act of literary criticism and Budde takes care to balance the various critical attentions that have structured the historical responses to Purdy’s work. The selected poems will mix lesser-known gems with Purdy’s greatest hits. Teachers, poetry-lovers, students, and writers will rediscover Purdy’s unique voice. Those who are new to his work will get a full and rich sense of the man some have called the last Canadian poet.
Also includes an Afterword by Russell Morton Brown.


An excellent overview of Purdy's poetry, with an informative introduction to his career and poetics written by Robert Budde and an afterword by Russell Morton Brown, editor of Purdy's first Collected Poems, published in 1985, which provides us with an insight into Purdy the man.

- John Cunningham, Prairie Fire, October 2007, 2007 October