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March 21st is World Poetry Day. What better way to honour their legacy than to visit the cities that inspired their work?
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He was considered one of Canada's preeminent poets, a writer whose verses sang of Canada's natural beauty, whose poems painted pictures of Canadian wilderness that brought pride to a nation. He was also a heartless civil servant, the first superintendent of Canadian residential schools and a deputy minister of Indian Affairs in the early part of the 20th century whose policies targeting First Nations, many believe, meet today's definition of the UN genocide convention. And yet this very same man who had such contempt toward aboriginals became a revered writer and poet.
When it comes to climate change, the math and science are clear -- but not to everyone. The arts can be powerful allies in helping us all understand the severity of the challenge and the urgency for action.
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Chelmick's getaway required the hard work of clearing brush and laying a foundation. The original cabin was 600 square feet and solar-powered, complete with battery storage. Why solar? Chelmick recalls seeing brown streaks across the sky near Lake Wabamun.
Folio 10b from Falnameh - Book of Divination
Swept up in the dream of democracy, it seemed, her hubby took a consulting role. But the civil service in which he served was as short-lived as a drumroll. No sooner had he turned 34 (on his birthday, no less) that he was slammed in jail by a general who ruled the state under duress.
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The phenomenon of poets getting inspired by the jinn can be traced back to pre-Islamic times. It is a living artistic and spiritual tradition that allows people to experience, to some extant, the visionary realities of the prophets, the Friends of God (Awliya) and the saints.
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Humanity is seen to be independent from nature, even above it. This has been the Western vision of the world. In poisoning the earth, we were led on a self-destructive path. But I try to invoke here an alternative vision, expressed by Islamic (Sufi) arts, which finds that the way humanity relates and depends on nature can be renewed once the creative life is reclaimed.
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We are beaten; we are burned, stabbed,
We are sold; we are raped, and killed
In times of peace and in times of war
We are powerless.
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"One day she broke down, the comments made her drown."
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In a country that traditionally does not know its own history, young people are often identified as the main offenders. But this poem is different. It represents something that is ours. Written by a Canadian, learned by Canadians and recited by Canadians. The Vimy Foundation is calling on all Canadian schools to help pass the torch of remembrance by reciting In Flanders Fields.
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Teachers: we have this year to write a part for ourselves in a child's life. To write a scene for ourselves in a student's life. To influence a young person, a teenager, a young adult in the writing of their life account. It might seem a small role. But we are crucial in that we are those who can make a difference.
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Shane Koyczan brings relevance to poetry, because he is inimitably relatable. He makes beautiful art from pain and speaks openly about his struggles with acquired brain injury. His candor about his struggles serve to reinforce the message: You are not alone.
We tend to be so hung up on rising to the top that we fail to realize that being overly competitive can actually push us down. True greatness comes to those who elevate others; who lift them up without regard to where it will place them in the hierarchy of the marketplace of life.
All any of us wants is to be seen and to be heard. This longing is at the core of our human beingness. Most never get the opportunity to share their life story in a way that impacts many. Why some peo...