P.K. Page was one of Canada’s most esteemed poets. I would like to remember her as a vital poet of strength and worth, and to quote her poem, “The Search,” published in Vallum 5:2 SPIRIT in 2007. P.K. Page passed away January 2010:
By P.K. Page
Hunt, hunt again. If you do not find it, you
Will die. But I tell you this much, it
Is not under the stone at the foot
Of the garden, nor by the wall at the fig tree.
— “Treasure Hunt,” Robert Pen Warren
You have the whole garden to search in.
So begin. Begin now. Look behind every
shrub, turn up stones if
necessary, dig deep in the black
soil. Do not let night
interfere. Use a lamp to
light the darkness up.
There is no time to lose if
you are to succeed, so
“hunt, hunt again. If you do not find it, you”
may be sent to ‘Coventry.’
No joke. But worse
is indeed possible. So LOOK.
If you need glasses put
them on. NOW. In that
way you should not even miss a bent
stalk. I cannot really
talk, nor mention what
“will die. But I tell you this much, it”
is not where or what you think–
in the woodshed, for instance, and not
behind the wheelbarrow nor in
the compost. Don’t
waste your time
thinking where were YOU would have put
it, had you been asked. You
weren’t asked. But it–let me assist
you this much in your pursuit–
“is not under the stone at the foot”
of the broad leafed maple. So stop
your wild surmises.
Time is running out and,
as your life
depends upon finding
it, search meticulously.
And good luck, I’d like you to
Remember, not in the greenery
“of the garden, nor by the wall at the fig tree.”