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Al Purdy

  • Canadian poet
  • Born December 30, 1918
  • Died April 21, 2000

Alfred Wellington Purdy, (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."


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




I was desperately unhappy trying to adjust to the world.




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




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.




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




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




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




I started writing when I was about thirteen.




I don't think I do have a soul.



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