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  • Let the poets speak. Let them speak their silverized lines in the open, to the people passing and arriving down by where the trains come over the rivers.

    And so the poets spoke, and they spoke from chairs.

    Their lines had been etched into metal, in the park across from Gare Centrale in Quebec City. The visitor took the route by chance up the middle of the park, and there the poets gathered, absent in body, present in their lines on the chairs.

    In silver lines, lines like pewter light, aluminum syllables, etched syllables letting in light, a silverized generosity for the weariness of travellers. There the visitor walked among the Quebec poets, in the more northern sunshine, as the chairs recited poetry in the evening and the morning, an eternal babble in a quiet July down in the lower part of the high walled city. Down in Baiseville, the chairs sang.

    As if Suzanne of Leonard Cohen's song took us to her place by the river, with river breath and river feet and induced us to the ebb and flow of lines breaks, French, English, perhaps a detente in the warming which only chairs know. Or, know first.

    This intimacy out in the open, this secret public whisper, this is what the poet always intended.

    He intended to infiltrate our hearts. He intended whispered surprises. He intended that we might trip over a chair in a park and find our own heart, speaking from the seating arrangement.

    (Photo by Susan)
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