Richler essaysCanadian Writers Abroad has kept a low profile through Canada’s 150th celebrations, and finally, serendipity has delivered exactly what’s needed: something from the 100th. In Mordecai Richler’s essay, “Expo 67,” (see previous post re: collection), he is surprisingly benevolent in tone about the Centennial celebrations. The essay includes not only the full lyrics to the song “Ca-na-da,” but also a roundup of special magazine issues, in which he devotes a paragraph to The Canadian Author and Bookman. He writes: “There was also a double page spread of poems by expatriates with the corporate title HELLO CANADA. One of the poems was ‘from homesick Maggie Dominic in New York…’.”

Could this Maggie Dominic be one and the same as the Magie Dominic who has appeared previously in Canadian Writers Abroad?

Yes. Not only that, but Magie Dominic still has a copy of the magazine. She writes: “It [the magazine] would be half a century old, but that can’t be possible! So MUCH happened in my life between 1966 and 1969 that my head explodes. That’s exactly what I’m trying to write about now in the new book, that eight or ten year period.” Finally, she adds, “I will forever miss Newfoundland.”

Magie Dominic at Caffe Cino

Working on the set of Dames at Sea in 1966.


So here it is, Maggie Dominic’s Centennial poem, and now Magie Dominic’s 150th poem:

This Year, More than Ever
Ah ‘Newfoundland’
I’m coming to you,
This year, more than ever;
Up the patterned, stony trails,
To the very lips of the Nova Scotian shore-line,
To the water — that water which makes us a severed land.
There I’ll stand alone,
A lookout on nautical duty,
Watching for the great ferry
To hurry me over the slashing waves to you;
There I’ll stand alone,
In anticipation;
Salt-water spray fingering my hair,
Tangling it,
Making it as perfumed as you,
Salt tempting my tongue, winds whispering behind me

Ah ‘Newfoundland’
I’ll be there,
This year, more than ever,
To celebrate with you;
To laugh—
‘Midst the ocean’s roar;
To cry—
When those same deep eyes are pools of sorrow
With the thoughts of lost men, sea-men, Newfoundland men.
I’ll be there, this year more than ever,
To smell the honey of the spruces,
To sip from my cupped fingers, your icy spring-water;
To whistle with a blue-jay; see the eternal maple;
Pick a fresh blossom to press in an ancient medical-book—
A souvenir forever.

Ah ‘Newfoundland’
My heart is reaching toward you;
Longing for you—
This year, more than ever;
Don’t disappoint me—be as you were—
Be as I see you when I smile in my sleep,
Let your fragrance, your hills be never changing;
My Newfoundland—
Show not a fresh set of features;
And nor will I,
This year, more than ever.

Summer 1966

Dominic reading at an outdoor poetry reading with Moondog and others, Gansevort Pier, NYC, 1966. (Photo: James Gossage.)


For the historians among you, here is a photo of the original text:

The Canadian Author and Bookman




Posted by Debra Martens

author, editor