Hearing a far call By M. Eugenie Perry; Ryerson Poetry Chapbook Series published by Ronald P. Frye and Co, Book Publishers, Toronto Canada. Poems by Twentieth Century Canadian poets, Cover art by Ryan Buckley.
“M. Eugenie Perry is a third generation Canadian, born in Kirk-held, Ontario, of Irish-Scotch parents. She lived for many years in Victoria, B.C., where she was an officer and past president of The Victoria and Islands’ Branch of the Canadian Authors’ Association. She was editor of the “Home Chat” page of the Western Recorder, under the name of Perry Page. Her work has appeared in scores of magazines and newspapers in Canada, the British Isles, and the United States, and consists of poetry, short stories, children’s features, and plays.”
From “Hearing a Far Call”:
Doro-Lynd, Doro-Lynd, Juliet!
She is the realest Juliet of them all!”
The rising chorus rings through the vaulted hall.
Glowing, she smiles and bows, her ivory gown
Shimmering to her feet; and rippling down
Under her Juliet cap, her burnished hair.
Still, in the cobalt mystery of her eyes
A questioning shadow lies.
Applause—is it not enough
For the toil of the years, and the strife?
Fame—is it trivial as a silken puff
Gaudying the homespun sleeve of life?
There is a homelier glimpse veiled from the crowd,
Midnight and weariness totalling the day’s score;
Then in the inner torment of her mind
The doubt is rampant: “Is there more, no more?”
“Your love had held me, Michael, had you been
But once a little wrong, or sensed the frail
Dream-wisps I spun for balancing my scale Of days—
I who must ever feel the thin
High air of freedom lightening my wings,
Preen in the rayed brilliance of the warm
Sun of approval, shunning the uniform,
I who must sing just as the field lark sings.
“So have I sung and played, and now my name
Illumines every capital. And this is fame!
LOVE, and the tender confines of a home,
And these were Heaven to the new-made wife,
Still crying treason that an end might come
Even to exquisite desire.
Inevitably, the honeymoon was spent!
Then, from a dull and creeping discontent
Her garden, green things growing, rescued her;
And soon the stirring of creative fire
Flowed into metred line and rhyme, and so—
These scribbled verses in a folio:
“I have a garden very small
A few sparse handkerchiefs of loam,
An oak where vesper sparrows call,
Wild orange and currant by the wall
Girdling the constancy of home.
“My friend who boasts an aviary,
A greenhouse, and a lilied pool,
Will tour de luxe and seldom see
Her orchids or magnolia tree;
She sailed today for Istanbul.
“My garden is a personal thing;
Crushed by some evil-starred event,
I crouch within its sheltering ring
Where every flower and hurrying wing
Soon forge my mind’s rearmament.”
Featuring cover artwork by Ryan Buckley.