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From the archives

The Path of Poetic Resistance

To disarm Canada and its canon

Are Interests Really Value-Free?

A salvo from the “realist” school of Canadian foreign relations

Going It Alone

The marvellous, single-minded, doggedly strange passion of citizen scientists


Deadly germs, my mother believed,

live in cracks – particularly those gracing

diner and five & dime dishware. Sent

back, to my mortification,

any food, liquid or solid, served

in a cup or on a plate marred

by the tiniest hairline fracture.


So no surprise I’m driven to ditch

the patched, the darned, the scotch-

and duct-taped, to intercept

unsent messages, comb through books

for missing pages, suppress

aborted dreams, memories riddled

with the unresolved, for now


I, too, see menace lurking

in every fissure, extend that obsession

to the ungrammatical – the comma splice,

dangling participle, anacoluthon –

long to caulk the crevices

between floor and door, door

and frame, shudder at the split seams

in our world views, rifts in relationships,

leaks sprung in vessels consecrated

to our holiest beliefs.

Ruth Roach Pierson taught women’s history, feminist and post-colonial studies at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto from 1980 to 2001, and European and women’s history at Memorial University of Newfoundland from 1970 to 1980. Since retiring she has published three poetry collections: Where No Window Was (BuschekBooks, 2002), Aide-Mémoire (BuschekBooks, 2007), which was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award in 2008, and Contrary (Tightrope Books, 2011). A fourth, Realignment, will appear from Palimpsest Press in 2015. She is the editor of the anthology of film poems I Found It at the Movies (Guernica Editions, 2014).