Pass was born Dec. 19, 1947, the same day in the same year that Duncan Campbell Scott died. A reincarnation of one of Canada's great Confederation Poets? Perhaps not, says Pass, though upon discovering this fact from the Canada Council for the Arts Calendar, it did stir increased interest in him for Scott’s work.
“The link tugged at me, implied an odd responsibility. I revisited especially his later poems, and one in particular, "En Route", suggested continuity…More significantly, though, it is an early (perhaps the first) instance in our literature of a quintessential Canadian experience: the contemplation of an arbitrary tract of nondescript track-side land from the window of a stalled train. For this alone it must stand as a cultural mile-marker."
John Pass is one of several contemporary poets featured in The Companions Series of broadsheets writing in response to poems they have chosen by other poets. Among the contributions: Lori Maleea Acker’s An Inner Regard in response to an excerpt from Wallace Stevens’s Things Of August and Sue Wheeler’s Understory in response to Don McKay’s Stumpage.
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