Al Purdy Quotes

Alfred Wellington Purdy, OC OOnt (December 30, 1918 – April 21, 2000) was a 20th-century Canadian free verse poet. Purdy's writing career spanned fifty-six years. His works include thirty-nine books of poetry; a novel; two volumes of memoirs and four books of correspondence, in addition to his posthumous works. He has been called the nation's "unofficial poet laureate" and "a national poet in a way that you only find occasionally in the life of a culture." Wikipedia

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Al Purdy


For me, the vast marvel is to be alive. For man, or for flowers or beast or bird, the supreme triumph is to be most vividly and perfectly alive.

Al Purdy


A collected poems' is either a gravestone or a testimonial to survival.

Al Purdy


Things were so bad we ate rabbits that neighbours had run over and gave to us because they knew we were broke.

Al Purdy


In my own mind, I was sort of a desperate kid.

Al Purdy


I'm not religious in any formal sense, not in any God sense.

Al Purdy


I was desperately unhappy trying to adjust to the world.

Al Purdy


And it occurs to me that if I were aboard a rowboat floating in the middle of all the beer I've drunk in a lifetime, I'd never be able to see the shore.

Al Purdy


Uneasily the leaves fall at this season, forgetting what to do or where to go; the red amnesiacs of autumn drifting thru the graveyard forest. What they have forgotten they have forgotten: what they meant to do instead of fall is not in earth or time recoverable the fossils of intention, the shapes of rot.

Al Purdy


At a certain age you're always uncertain how other people will take you.

Al Purdy


I don't think I do have a soul.

Al Purdy


I started writing when I was about thirteen.

Al Purdy