Canadian Thanksgiving; a Sonnet for my Canadian Friends

A Thanksgiving Sonnet by poet and Christian thinker Malcolm Guite on Canadian Thanksgiving Day!

Malcolm Guite

The true North Strong and Free (on the Victoria Ferry!) The True North Strong and Free (on the Victoria Ferry!)

As this Monday 10th October is Thanksgiving Day in Canada I am posting here a sonnet for Thanksgiving which I have written for all  my North American friends. But today I am particularly grateful for the hospitality I recieved  from Steve Bell, and the good people at St. Bendict’s Table and St. Benedict’s Monastery, and from David Jennings

There is no feast of Thanksgiving in either the British national or church calendars, but it seems to me a good thing for any nation to set aside a day for the gratitude which is in truth the root of every other virtue. So here is an Englishman’s act of thanksgiving. as always you can hear the poem by clicking on the play button if it appears or on the title.

This sonnet comes from my sequence Sounding the Seasons

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About Brenton Dickieson

“A Pilgrim in Narnia” is a blog project in reading and talking about the work of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the worlds they touched. As a "Faith, Fantasy, and Fiction" blog, we cover topics like children’s literature, apologetics and philosophy, myths and mythology, fantasy, theology, cultural critique, art and writing. This blog includes my thoughts as I read through Lewis and Tolkien and reflect on my own life and culture. In this sense, I am a Pilgrim in Narnia--or Middle Earth, or Fairyland. I am often peeking inside of wardrobes, looking for magic bricks in urban alleys, or rooting through yard sale boxes for old rings. If something here captures your imagination, leave a comment, “like” a post, share with your friends, or sign up to receive Narnian Pilgrim posts in your email box. Brenton Dickieson is a father, husband, friend, university lecturer, and freelance writer from Prince Edward Island, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter, @BrentonDana.
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16 Responses to Canadian Thanksgiving; a Sonnet for my Canadian Friends

  1. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    Thanks! Delightful that he thought of it! The result seems very Charles-Williams-y, as well as chiming strikingly with Elizabeth Goudge in her autobiography which I am reading at the moment. While there “is no feast of Thanksgiving in either the British national or church calendars”, Robert Hawker, that curious and delightful Arthurian poet (among other things), did develop the Harvest Festival as a feature of life in the Church of England, around this time of year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • David, you are one of the most integrative readers I have ever met (digitally).

      Like

      • David Llewellyn Dodds says:

        That may be one of the nicest things anybody ever said to me! (Though, as a famous Dutch football player and coach said, ‘Every advantage has its disdvantage…’)

        Liked by 1 person

    • Hannah says:

      Hi David, Are you reading ‘The Joy of the Snow’?

      Liked by 1 person

      • David Llewellyn Dodds says:

        Yep! – it is delightful (and would be, I think, as thoughtful ‘period piece’ for anyone who had never read any of her fiction, or God So Loved the World, too – I want to read her St. Francis book, sometime, now – it had not ‘registered’ with me, somehow, that she had written one). The chapter I was in when this post came along is entitled “Gratitude”!

        I just had a quick browse along a couple online bookshops and was pleasantly surprised to see how many of her books are in print – but, alas, I only saw ‘The Joy of the Snow’ second-hand. I did run into something I don’t think I had heard of (or, again, somehow had failed to ‘register’?), a biographical study that came out a little over a year ago, ‘Beyond the Snow: The Life and Faith of Elizabeth Goudge’, by Christine Rawlins – with quite a jolly ‘puff’ from Rowan Williams! (Maybe it will give more Inklings-related details – however many there are to give, one way or another: in her autobiography, she certainly seems familiar with the works of Lewis, Tolkien, and Williams, in a way that she seems to expect others to be, too – and she shared a literary agent with Williams (!) – but she doesn’t give a lot of dates, but a little Wikipedia-ing around suggests she was in Oxford with her father, the Regius Professor of Divinity, from 1923-1939 – so, did she happen to know Lewis or Tolkien? (she was also studying at Reading: I don’t know how that may – or may not – fit with ‘Hugo’ Dyson’s time, there) – and then was living in Oxfordshire again from 1951 on.)

        Liked by 1 person

        • David Llewellyn Dodds says:

          She also seems to know and love George MacDonald’s work!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Hannah says:

            Really interesting! I just looked up all the index references and most of it seems to be wound up with her dogs, e.g. ‘being backed by CS Lewis in that the love we have for our animals ensures their immortality’ when one of them passed away. She also had a dog called Froda. But there is also a comment on Tolkien creating a new world, where at least there is a possibility that things may work out right, in the Lord of the Rings.
            I also googled on it and found this blog in the same line, with “she should have been an inkling”: http://www.lightondarkwater.com/2015/05/52-authors-week-21-elizabeth-goudge.html

            Like

            • David Llewellyn Dodds says:

              Yes, and she characterizes that breed of dog (or at least her dogs of that breed) generally as ‘hobbits’! I probably should have guessed her love of dogs from her works (though I never did, not in any clear, conscious way) – reading her on dogs, here (for example, how sadly disproportionate their average lifespans are to ours) reminded me of Konrad Lorenz (some of whose work we know Lewis enjoyed).

              Thank you for discovering and linking that post (which looks interesting, and is rich in comments, too)!

              Like

              • Hannah says:

                The only dog I can recall from her works, turned out to be a lion, that is in “The Little White Horse” … I now really wonder if Aslan would have had anything to do with that.
                I find her remarks in relation to the LoR on page 8 intriguing, about how each of us would like to create a world, less terrible than this one …even if the attempt ends in nothing better than rearrangement of the furniture.

                Like

              • David Llewellyn Dodds says:

                There’s an interesting story in The Ikon of the Wall and other Stories, “Dogs of Peking”, about the “King of the Lion Dogs” and fellow Imperial dogs. (Fun to read that she (like Arthur Conan Doyle and Edith Nesbit before her) published so many of stories in The Strand, which went on a lot longer than I had realized!)

                Like

              • Hannah says:

                How fun, another book by her – thought I had collected them all – with another story about Lion Dogs. And The Strand Magazine is also new to me – it ceased to exist in 1950 but was revived in 1998, this according to Wikipedia – and sounds very interesting. You really are a very integrative reader …

                Like

              • David Llewellyn Dodds says:

                I somehow ran into this at the Internet Archive (though it only covers 1891-1922):

                https://archive.org/details/TheStrandMagazineAnIllustratedMonthly

                It looks like naughty folk had been clipping things out of some of the copies before they got a chance to be scanned (a problem we regularly encountered when I worked in a public library).

                It also looks like there may be other bits and bobs scanned in the Internet Archive as well, but I haven’t tried to sort it out…

                There is also an odd yet not uninteresting little memoir of someone who worked for the original Strand Magazine in its last years read out, here:

                Like

              • David Llewellyn Dodds says:

                Well, I don’t know why that YouTube link did not work! It seems somehow to have selected the only other item in the playlist “Miscellaneous” in the account “Sherlock-Plus” – the one I was trying to load is entitled “Chosen Companions Sherlock Holmes”!

                Like

  2. Hannah says:

    Thanks for the Strand’s archive link and good to know about that Internet Archive! A pity that people clipped texts out of copies! See if this youtube link does work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqMR-HkT_-o
    The bit I heard so far wasinteresting and brings the Strand alive.

    Like

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