Attendees of the 28th Annual Emerald Awards had the honour and pleasure to receive a performance from City of Edmonton’s former Poet Laureate Pierrette Requier. The following are her Words of Introduction and an attached PDF copy of her radiant poems A Round of the Seasons – La ronde des saisons.
© Pierrette Requier
Our job here is to locate the magnificence and have it come through. We call it forth by: “Doing the work”, meaning doing whatever you are called to do from the innate magnificence of you, to inspire others to make positive changes, to become more fully…
Each poem comes to me slowly
and by immersion.
From some deep core of home in me,
a rising up of words, of a rhythm
through the ears, like a heart beat.
Northern Alberta raised,
a true child of La Grande Prairie—
my words materialize always, from
that vast land’s spaciousness and cycles.
As this amazing celebratory event comes to a close, the words I offer arise from here, HOME, Alberta the beautiful, the wealthy. As we have witnessed together today, we are wealthy in so many, many ways, rich in talent and thoughtfulness about the environment.
I am grateful and honoured to be here, among you, to be part of this initiative.
We, the people of this gorgeous planet Earth, are intrinsically woven into the great cosmic drama. We live in a solar system, which exists among immensities… Galaxies, clusters… We are soaring around a star, our Sun approximately a million times greater than the earth. We float and spin in the vast ocean of the cosmos.
Brian Swimme writes in “The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos – Humans and the New Story” that a crucial step for humans is to awaken to the fact of the Sun’s gravitational power; that we are held by the Sun every moment of every day.
Days translate into weeks, and weeks into months, and months into seasons, and seasons into years. And so we humans have devised ways to measure precious time and to name the rhythms of our northern land.
I was raised within two rhythms: that of the land— seeding, wheat fields ripening, harvesting, turning soil for the next season, followed by a long winter inching us back to spring again. How utterly marvellous! I was fortunate to have a Mom who, as every season progressed, pointed out the marvels of nature.
I also lived within the liturgical year of Sundays, with its feasts, and high holidays— Lent – Easter, Advent, – Christmas, Epiphany… Both rhythms melded, and figure in my work as part of greater recurring cycles. And I KNOW that nature wins out.
I come from the west – la grande prairie canadienne, I am the child of a child of pioneers. I have inherited shards of hardship, poverty, isolation, and terror, a recurring terror that “this year winter will not end; and spring will not come…”
And here we are in spring’s full explosion!
(We were even blessed with a sudden rain and a power outage, nature’s reminder of our place in relationship to her…?)
I have also come to this planet with a vast awe. As a young child I sought the quiet of the woods, “mon petit bois,” where I crouched in the great silence, to really listen and see what I see and hear. As an adult, I still practice this though poetry.
My poetic offering today is a sequence of linked poems, A Round of the Seasons, La ronde des saisons, followed by a trilingual poem, a river incantation.