a few things about a certain poem
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a few things about a certain poem

2006_05_01stopspadina.jpg At Friday night’s City Idol event, Torontoist’s own contestant recited a poem by Denis Lee titled, simply “Spadina.” The poem, from Lee’s (sadly out of print) 1974 Nicholas Knock and Other Peopleis a jaunty celebration of the success of the Stop Spadina Campaign that is being fondly remembered in the wake of Jane Jacobs’ death.
The poem goes:
Sparrows sniffed the air, and hung
Like humming-birds with bubble gum
Doing pushups in the sun
The day we stopped Spadina.
The people stopped to touch the air
And breathe the green renewal there
As though the headline was a prayer
The day we stopped Spadina.
And parking lots came out to play
Arrayed in green instead of grey
And I said, Why not stay that way?
The day we stopped Spadina.
I watched a woman’s face which glowed
I saw computer cards explode
And I heard grass grow on Walmer road
The day we stopped Spadina.
And Bishop Strachan from underground
Was half converted by the sound
Of pleasure in Toronto town
the one and only day we stopped Spadina.
The recitation of this poem earned Mr. Torontoist a prominent mention in the Toronto Star article about the City Idol event. Way to go!
Illustration by Frank Newfeld, a scan of a mediocre photocopy, sorry.

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