The Collected Poems of Al Purdy

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McClelland and Stewart, 1986 - Canadian poetry - 396 pages
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About the author (1986)

The author of 30 or so volumes of poetry, Al Purdy is admired for "his fascination with observed detail and his rhythmic skill with laconic idiom," in the words of W. H. New. In 1978, Being Alive offered a selection of Purdy's best work from the previous 25 years, and in 1986 Collected Poems: 1956-1986 appeared, with 250 poems out of the 700 he had published. Although a prolific poet, Purdy is also a stern critic of his own work. Born in a small town on the eastern end of Lake Ontario, Purdy has remained in that area most of his life. From what he called a "Bush land, scrub land," he has drawn the inspiration and subject matter for much of his poetry. His extensive travels are reflected in his poetry, as in the 1984 volume Piling Blood. Showing his continuing development as a writer, the poems in A Woman on the Shore (1990) are more intense than much of his earlier work. Purdy died in North Saanich, B.C., on April 21, 2000. His final collection of poetry, Beyond Remembering: The Collected Poems of Al Purdy, was released posthumously in the fall of 2000.

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