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Arts

Concrete Poetry in bpNichol Lane

Posted by Jerrold Litwinenko / November 1, 2008

bpnichol lane torontoHaving never lived in the Annex area, and never studied at U of T, it's not surprising that until recently I hadn't stumbled upon the concrete poetry of famed late Canadian poet bpNichol carved in the pavement along bpNichol Lane.

bpnichol lane toronto sign

Were it not for the rain that filled the grooves in the letters etched in the wet pavement, the big green [murmur] ear in the window at Coach House Books, and a mobile phone in hand, I probably would have never quite understood exactly where I was standing. Nor would I have noticed the playful modification of the no-parking sign overhead.

bpnichol lane toronto

Although all of the [murmur] stories are available online, I think the most genuine enjoyment of the [murmur] project comes from being on location and listening to the stories with visual context. I'm going to have to train myself to keep a better eye out for the green ears signs when I do the flâneur thing in the city.

Discussion

7 Comments

mmmmmmmmmmmmm / November 1, 2008 at 02:42 pm
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I also only last year discovered the poem in the lane. I think it's pretty cool! And have been meaning to check out the murmur project - now I will - nice idea!
carla / November 2, 2008 at 10:35 am
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i do study at uoft and often pass by sussex and bpnichol, but never ventured down that lane. i thought that was an odd name for a street, now i know the story. i'll check out this lane next time i'm there! thanks for the post!
mdtoronto / November 2, 2008 at 02:41 pm
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bp died in 1988. nice to see his words/work still lives on http://www.bpnichol.ca/
Elle Driver / November 2, 2008 at 03:34 pm
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What is it with poets and their amusing lack of uppercases? (Also see "e e cummings".)

I'm genuinely curious!
Danielle / November 2, 2008 at 11:52 pm
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A frequently trapsed path for students running from campus to G's (not so) Fine Foods.

Also, covered by Ian last year. http://www.blogto.com/city/2007/07/the_undertow_a_lonely_concrete_poem/
ashmantoronto / November 4, 2008 at 09:40 am
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I read about this in 'The Unknown City: Toronto' book
great purchase!
MediaStudent11 / November 5, 2008 at 05:13 pm
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Wow, this is what I call that art.I am always downtown and I have never seen this before until these images. I will have to check them out sometime .

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