QUEBEC!: Le Canada Francais (poem)
Le Canada Francais (A Poem)
I once was a student
of French in Canada
where I roamed the
streets of Quebec not
armed with an umbrella,
as Thoreau once wrote,
but with a warm hooded coat
protecting me from frosty air
high above the Saint Lawrence
flowing seaward with chunks of ice
that ground the stony shoreline
of lower Quebec where I caught
the ferry boat across to Levis and
chatted in very daring French with
the local frost-bitten passengers who
remarked "voila un americain qui
parle Francais!" and who asked me
if I did not think that Canada, with its
forests and mountains, is "bien beau."
And on that ferry boat I could not help
but fall in love with all these people.
I spent many weeks in French Canada between 1956 and 1959 learning as much as I could about French Canadians and the French language.