Sunday, January 04, 2009

Billy Little, 1943-2009

If I'd been able to be on Hornby Island today, I would have been attending a memorial for Billy Little, a one-of-a-kind poet.

No one can deny it -- he lived an eccentric life, one guided by the Muse. He was opposed to war and other military actions and spoke against them with great conviction.

Although he published numerous chapbooks, the only book I know he left us is St. Ink: Selected Poems, published by Capilano University Editions.

Whenever I was on Hornby, I'd run into Billy somewhere -- sometimes at the bookstore, often at the recycling depot, but most usually in amongst folks gathered at the outdoor market. Sadly, like Billy, the market no longer exists, though this photo of it does.

As my friend Lesley reminded me, Billy wore wonderful hats. One of her favourites was a hat that looked like a toucan. Who else but Billy could get away with such gear!

He lived as a poet, down to the final crossed T. And I can only say good on him for outlasting all the medical system's predictions and making it to 2009.

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