March 25, 2008

Patrick Friesen: Calling the Dog Home

Plenty of reasons why this guy's my favorite poet: his imagery, precise word choices, the rhythm of each poem. But now something new gets added to the list.

I drove the family to Grand Forks for Easter weekend, to visit Oma and Opa and Uncle Mat--and of course to eat a turkey dinner. I'll travel many miles for turkey. Like most people, I created a road-trip collection of CD's. This time I had everything from Eddie Vedder's soundtrack for Into the Wild to the Red Hot Chili Pepper's Californication to Bob Dylan's The Times They Are A Changin'. I believe I had a mix of '80's hair metal ballads somewhere too. But we won't talk about that.

Baby Girl is not always appreciative of my driving skills (or the lack). Nor does she always express joy at my music choices. But when I popped in Patrick Friesen's Calling the Dog Home, a cycle of poems combined with improvised music (piano, cello, percussion), Simone grew very quiet--contemplative even. Patrick's voice, Marilyn Lerner's piano, Peggy Lee's cello, Niko Friesen's drums had her enraptured--more than her favorite Raffi CD which we accidentally left at home (that's right, accidentally). In fact, she grew so comfortable she actually fell asleep. And I thought I always added this CD for myself.

So, Mr. Friesen. I doff my hat to you, sir. Not just for your voice or the way your words burrow into my chest to cling there for days. But because you have done the unimaginable, tempered the wildness of an infant's gaze long enough for her to recuperate.


your little sis said...

Larry, That is so cool. It's incredable how kids can be intreged with things we think are far past their comprention. Wish I was there to hold your little girl!

Harry Tournemille said...

Yeah, it was pretty cool. When I told Patrick he laughed and said he was going to charge me a babysitting fee.