In terms of meat, there is not very much to a young fawn, but the eagles had opened her up, and the ravens had joined them. I reminded myself that being buried bit by bit in the guts of birds is at least as good as going into a hole in the ground, and that fueling an eagle’s flight or the voice of a raven is as fine a resurrection as anyone, human or deer, could hope for.
“The Silence That Is Not Poetry — And The Silence That Is” E.J. Pratt Lecture, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s 14 October 2005
In this collection of thirteen talks (The Tree of Meaning), I turn to an earlier lecture that also rifts on an ecological perspective. This time in the mode of culture and its artefacts.
So the cultural floor is a killing floor, and it’s littered with smithereens. Reach down and you might pick up some fragments of a Presocratic philosopher, a Zen master’s wink preserved in amber, a story or two told by an aboriginal elder, or a sheaf of poems by one of the great poets who go by the name Anonymous. You’ll have to sift through a lot of rubbish to find these treasures, but plenty of treasure is there: much more lying in the dust than you are likely to find in the superstructure. That’s why every true intellectual alive in the present day is a garbage picker.
“Poetry and Thinking” Luther College, University of Regina, 25 January 2001
For the visually-minded garbage picker there is the example of the catadores of the Jardim Gramacho chronicled in the movies Waste Land. For the booklover, there is detritus.com, the online home of Jeff Maser, Bookseller, through whose catalogues one can idle many an hour.
And so for day 1275