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Irving Layton RIP

This Magazine Staff

Israel Pincu Lazarovitch a.k.a. Irving Layton died today after a very long illness. Born in Romania, Layton was one of Canada’s most successful poets. He was 93 years old. I have transcribed the following poem from A Wild Peculiar Joy (McClelland & Stewart. Copyright 2004 by Irving Layton). Go and buy the book, why don’t you:

There Were No Signs

By walking I found out
Where I was going.

By intensely hating, how to love.
By loving, whom and what to love.

By grieving, how to laugh from the belly.

Out of infirmity, I have built strength.
Out of untruth, truth.
From hypocrisy, I wove directness.

Almost now I know who I am.
Almost I have the boldness to be that man.

Another step
And I shall be where I started from.

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