THE AUREOLE: A POEM
By Albert Durrant Watson
With an Afterword by Gregory Betts
Albert Durrant Watson was once an acclaimed Canadian authority on the occult. In his numerous books of poetry and prose, he crafted a diverse body of literature from his mystical practice. The funk of the Great War triggered visions of a new era, one of unlimited spiritual potential. In his poem The Aureole, first published in 1917, he used the most profound relationships in his life to paradoxically challenge consensual notions of selfhood and undermine the divisions that separate humans from one another. Watson believed that after the coming spiritual revolution, we would no longer relate to one other through petty individualisms, but rather we would belong to one another in a grand, cosmic band; the aureole. The Aureole, which bears the distinction of being the first published free-verse long-poem in English Canada, might not be the most modern poem to come out of early Canada, but in its anti-war challenge to gender barriers that favours a utopian spiritual hermaphroditism, the poem remains radical to this day.
31 pages; 5.5×8.5 inches; paperback
ISBN 978 1 897388 13 6
Department of Reissue No. 2