|log house near East Lake|
Many readers of Al Purdy observe: "wow, a poem that talks about hockey." Me, I'm pleased to read a poem that mentions the ill-advised demolition of a Regency cottage (Place of Fire), or Vitruvius, the ancient Roman who codified building practices.
Poems by a guy who relates construction techniques of the bronze age Colchis people on the Black Sea to orioles nesting on Roblin Lake..
|West Lake, PEC - surely a former log dwelling|
In 'In Search of Owen Roblin' Purdy recounts the days after the A-frame was built (or begun), when his spirits were flagging and his attention turned to the settlement nearby, the village of Ameliasburgh, once Roblin's Mill (earlier Way's Mill but that's another story indeed).
Not surprisingly, Al, the failure at school who became a voracious and omnivorous reader, a formidable autodidact and a compulsive book collector, made a study of the history of building in the area. Starting with the early pioneers, with whom he now had a bond, he describes the first, second and third homes which tell the settlement story in the township, and across the county of Prince Edward.
|American inspired Georgian at the Carrying Place|
"-Late 19th-century houses in the village
more scattered thru the countryside
many of these old places being
a silent kind of triumph in survival
their owners celebrated with wood and stone
a dozen panes of glass for each window
where glass had been so scarce in the beginning..."
|a stone Regency cottage near Consecon|
"Usually they were "second houses"
the first having been log construction
long gone back into earth...
|my childhood home with some pretty fine gingerbread|
And then there were the "third houses"
some with white gingerbread woodwork
complicated as catacombs of the bone brain
a pattern of wood curlicues entangled with time
Blindly staring at the melodious silent gingerbread
I realized that here was the exact spot
where a 19th-century man
worked an hour longer than he had to
because he got interested and forgot everything else
-that lost 19th-century hour
is still visible at one corner of the house..."
|the architecturally significant Dr. File house in A'burgh|
|The good doctor's across-the-street neighbour|
- amply bracketed Italianate