Heading for Canada Day, I thought I'd share a poem about a rather iconic Canadian city.
This was written by Poet Laureate for the City of Moose Jaw, Gary Hyland.
Moose Jaw? And they attempt to hide
derision. How can anyone claim
this Podunk, Hicksburgh, Blahville
place home? Wasn’t this the place named
after former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney?
The Name: the Moose Jaw river
is shaped like the jawbone of a moose.
Rich Little once got a laugh saying.
“Moose Jaw is so small they don’t have
weather there.” People with names like
Rich Little shouldn’t make jokes about
the size of anything.
Comic Strip artists can’t keep their pens
off Moose Jaw: Broomhilda, Get Fuzzy,
even Marvel Comics released a special
Wolverine and Cable comic in which
the superheroes battle with a gross mutant
on the streets of Moose Jaw, a town
just outside civilization.
The name: the place where Lord Dunmore,
Earl of Mulberry, fixed his cart
with the jawbone of a moose.
When they want to designate nowhere
important, unendurable plainness,
or a certain weird quaintness
authors summon the name—
Murder in Moose Jaw; Still Circling
Moose Jaw; All the Moose, All the Jaw;
The Moose Jaw Book
The Name: from the Cree Moosoochapiskun
meaning Moose Jaw.
When they want a comic-exotic touch
authors site Moose Jaw. J. K. Rowling
in Quidditch Through the Ages names
one of the world’s top teams the Moose
Jaw Meteorites. Homer Simpson conjures
a Moose Jaw baseball team as the bottom
of bottom rungs. Atomic Betty, Teletoon
defender of the universe, resides in
Moose Jaw Heights
Hollywood dumps on Moose Jaw.
In Slap Shot an incredibly
dumb and violent defenceman hails
from Moose Jaw. In Atlantic City
a florist asks repulsed lover
Burt Lancaster where to send
the flowers now. Hurt, disgusted
Burt replies, “Moose Jaw.”
The name: from the Cree moscatstani-sipy
“river of warm breezes.”
Now you’re talking.
- Gary Hyland
Photo by silvabelle
For more poetry, Ride the Poetry Train!
Janet says An interesting poem, Julia. And being a Saskatchewanite (and a proud one, at that), I must promote the beautiful city! Funny name, but awesome city :)
Travis Cody says I'd live in a place called Moose Jaw.