Michael Ondaatje Poems

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Michael Ondaatje
Michael Ondaatje was born in 1943 in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to a Burgher family of Dutch-Tamil-Sinhalese-Portuguese origin. He moved to England with his mother in 1954. After relocating to Canada in 1962, Ondaatje became a Canadian citizen. Ondaatje studied for a time at Bishop's University, but moved to Toronto and received his BA from the University of Toronto and his MA from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and began teaching at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. In 1970 he settled in Toronto. From 1971 to 1988 he taught English Literature at York University and Glendon College in Toronto. He and his wife, novelist and academic Linda Spalding, co-edit Brick, A Literary Journal, with Michael Redhill, Michael Helm, and Esta Spalding. His style of fiction, introduced in Coming Through Slaughter (1976) and mastered in The English Patient (1992), is non-linear. He creates a narrative by exploring many interconnected snapshots in great detail. Although he is best known as a novelist, Ondaatje's work also encompasses memoir, poetry, and film. His memoir of his Sri Lankan childhood is called Running in the Family (1982). He has published thirteen books of poetry, and won the Governor General's Award for two of them: The Collected Works of Billy the Kid (1970) and There's a Trick With a Knife I'm Learning to Do: Poems 1973-1978 (1979).

to a sad daughter
All night long the hockey pictures
gaze down at you
sleeping in your tracksuit.
Belli... [read poem]
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