Happy Birthday!

James Reaney was born today on September 1, 1926 in South Easthope Township near Stratford, Ontario. He died on June 11, 2008, in London, Ontario. He would have been 84 years old today. Dear Jamie, we remember you always!

James Reaney’s birthplace and childhood home near Stratford, Ontario, Summer 2010.

Here is a poem by James Reaney from The Essential James Reaney, a collection of poems available from The Porcupine’s Quill.

The Gramaphone

Upon a lake
At Gramaphone
A beastly bird
Sits on the bank
And dips its beak
Of sharpened bone
Into a haunted
Tank
That ripples with an eternal stone.

When the ladies descend the stairs,
Some eat their fans
And others comb their hair.
But Miss Mumblecrust
Picks up that beastly bird
And dips its beak
Into that round lake
That ripples with eternal stone
And dips its beak of sharpened bone
Into a pool of a young man singing
‘I’m all alone
By the telephone!’

James Reaney, 1947

James Reaney at home: age 4, Summer 1930

(Hart House Library at the University of Toronto has dedicated a display of several of James Reaney’s books this month.)