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Man Date

November 12, 2009

by Penn Kemp

House. Hold. Man. Age. Meant.
Well. Well, whoever would have

guessed? Not me, when I was up
and away, running and running off

steam, that I’d return to a house to run,
the one I ran from forty-odd years back.

Now resounding, rolling round and
round the block, the wo(r)ld follows,

shouting curses, blessings, woundings,
winding me back here where I began.

Only courage lets me remain, lets me rest,
to maintain the stiff demeanour of brick

veneer by which I was raised. Rest and all
the rest is easy always. Words to swear by,

words to return here, open-handed. Home.

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Canadian poet, performer and playwright Penn Kemp has published twenty-five books of poetry and drama, had six plays and ten CDs produced as well as Canada’s first poetry CD-ROM and several award-winning videopoems. She performs in festivals around the world. Her Muse News is renewed monthly on Penn Letters and on Facebook. Penn can also be heard on MySpace and mytown.ca. Penn is the Writer-in-Residence at the University of Western Ontario for 2009-10, hosting the radio show Gathering Voices.

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  1. November 19, 2009 at 11:50 am

    Nifty wordplay – I like how, from the very start to the end, the poem forces me to really consider each word not only by itself but in tandem with its neighbors. And “returning to a house to run” has personal resonance as well, in my case, since I spent a good part of last year emptying out my white brick childhood home for sale.

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