Poetry and Pain, as told by NMA winner Patrick Lane

“The outward pain and the inward pain. If you learn the inward pain inside you, you’ll grow as a human. Fine poetry gives us a look at the inward world.”

That’s esteemed Canadian poet and two-time National Magazine Award winner Patrick Lane, speaking to a class at the University of Toronto last week, on why we read poetry.

Mr. Lane, who won an NMA Silver in 1986 for his poetry in Canadian Forum and a Gold award in 1988 for his poetry in Border Crossings, recently published a new collection of poetry, aptly titled The Collected Poems of Patrick Lane (Harbour Publishing).

According to the article in the Toronto Observer, he also offered the students a few witty reflections on the legacy of Steve Jobs (“The person who invented the [birth control] pill… changed the course of history more than him”) and how he once delivered a baby in a logging camp (“Next thing I knew I was holding a slippery football shape in my arms”).

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