I was looking through Artie Gold’s archives at the McGill University library and came across his long lost ms. Romantic Words. Ken Norris and I contemplated getting it published. We agreed on asking George Bowering to write an introduction. George had written introductions to a number of Artie’s books, so we expected that he would agree. What we didn’t expect was what George did with the ms. He engaged in a poetic exchange with Artie’s poems. He wrote his version of Artie’s poems. It was an ekphrastic monologue dialogue. I know there have been poets who have done this as a one or two off. Jack Spicer comes to mind with his engagement with Garcia Lorca. But George did this with (118 +) poems. This is something unique in Canadian (perhaps in all of) poetry. Some of them are “rewrites” of Artie’s poems and some are George’s poems on the topic/theme.
Thank you, Endre.
The more I worked at this peculiar task, the more aware I became of Artie's suspicion that some of the poems were not really part of Romantic Words. So I gathered the typescripts that did not have the handwritten letters RW on them, and named them with a phrase that had come from their author.
Thank you, Artie. It was worth the craziness and death fear and deeply painful beauty.