A Poet’s Beginning

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Reflection

“It is dusk on the Lost Lagoon,
And we two dreaming the dusk away,
Beneath the drift of a twilight grey,
Beneath the drowse of an ending day,
And the curve of a golden moon.”

George and Emily were well known and respected.  Their home, Chiefswood, was a frequent meeting place for  intellectual and political elites such as the inventor, Alexander Graham Bell, the painter Homer Watson, anthropologist Horatio Hale and Lady and Lord Dufferin, Governor General of Canada and representative of the British monarchy.

The Biographical Notice in “Legends of Vancouver,” states that Chief George Johnson was of the “renowned Mohawk tribe, being a scion of one of the fifty noble families which composed the historical confederation founded by Haiwatha upwards of four hundred years ago.”  British law deemed that Pauline was Mohawk and a ward of the British Crown.   Her Mohawk status was not as clear within Mohawk tradition, which is based on a matrilineal culture which determines descent through the female line.

“It is dark in the Lost Lagoon,
And gone are the depths of haunting blue,
The grouping gulls, and the old canoe,
The singing firs, and the dusk and–you,
And gone is the golden moon.

Educated by her mother on works of Bryon, Tennyson, Keats, Browning and Milton; steeped in the stories told by her grandfather, John Smoke Johnson, a veteran of the War of 1812; surrounded by the natural beauty of wilderness, she wrote poetry at an early age inspired by what she embraced as a dual heritage.

O! lure of the Lost Lagoon,–
I dream to-night that my paddle blurs
The purple shade where the seaweed stirs,
I hear the call of the singing firs
In the hush of the golden moon.

E. Pauline Johnson

The Lost Lagoon

Lost Lagoon

20 thoughts on “A Poet’s Beginning

    • Thank you, Cindy! Looking back at history brings relevance to our time. Pauline Johnson was extraordinary.

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  1. I couldn’t wait for tomorrow. I have been busily ‘googling’ this extraordinary family. Have you been to Chiefswood?

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    • I don’t blame you – I would have been busy googling as well. I have never been to Chiefswood -but here is the next best thing!

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      • A lovely interlude in my day. Thank you. In such a place, becoming and being a poet would seem the most natural thing in the world.

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      • I especially like the honeybee! That had to be impromptu – can’t imagine that they could have orchestrated that in the script. It is a lovely location…

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  2. Beautiful pictures to go with a beautiful poem.
    I wonder what it would have been like to sit in on one of those intellectual discussions that were held by such famous people. I know for sure I would be keeping my mouth shut. lol

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    • I have a feeling that they would have been interested in what you had to say! I know that I am….

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    • It is in the middle of our beloved Stanley Park, in the centre of downtown Vancouver! Thank you for your visit – always appreciated.

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  3. Amazing… Thanx for sharing and for dropping by our international blog! 🙂
    Oh, I love Vancouver and all BC, I’ve been there twice… Sunny greetings from Toulouse, France and my very best… 🙂

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    • Thank you for your wonderful comments. If you have been to Vancouver, that means that you were in Stanley Park, where Pauline Johnson rests.

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  4. I love to hear cultures that respect the role of women and revere them. Giving them the respect and the ability to participate as an equal. Truly a noble culture. Thanks Rebecca

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    • And thank you for your visits – I look forward to every one. I agree – respect and the ability to participate are true gifts.

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