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In Praise of Memorization

By Madeline Bassnett

I’ve been thinking lately about Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” It fits the current Fredericton landscape perfectly: the snow lies two feet thick on the ground and I have to strap on snowshoes just to feed the backyard birds. But I think about this poem for another reason too: it’s an old friend, the first poem I fully memorized.

Revision

By Madeline Bassnett

My life is all about revision — and that’s not just a metaphorical statement. It seems I’ve ceased writing anything new: my only task is to complete and repair the old. As if I’ve suddenly entered the field of furniture restoration, sanding the scratches, oiling the bumps, replacing worn nails — a deceptively satisfying comparison. As if revision were simply a matter of priming and primping, of returning to some earlier and idealised state.

Radio Fiddlehead No. 1: Interview with John Barton

In January 2011, Editorial Assistant Peter Forestell sat down with John Barton, poet, editor of The Malahat Review, and the University of New Brunswick's 2010-11 writer-in-residence, to talk about his latest book of poems, Hymn, as well as the politics of being a gay writer in Canada.

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