Savage Gods...

Savage Gods, Silver Ghosts

  • By: Fly Rod and Reel

Ehor Boyanowsky has written extensively on fishing and conservation issues in such magazines as Fly Rod & Reel and is the co-author of The Pocket Guide to Fly Fishing for Steelhead. As well as being a former president of the Steelhead Society of British Columbia, he is also a criminal psychologist and professor at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia and the author of academic papers on violence and aggression. He lives at Hole in the Wall, near Horseshoe Bay, B.C.


His new book chronicles his time with legendary poet, and fly-fisher, Ted Hughes.


From the first chapter:


I First encountered the poetry of Ted Hughes a quarter-century before. I was sitting in the dingy office of Folio magazine [a literary journal] at the University of Western Ontario, pondering a sexually explicit memoir by an undergraduate that may have been the best-written story I had received but that had already triggered controversy: the faculty adviser had resigned; the printer, who also did a United Church magazine, insisted on handling it personally. It was 1963 and the social revolution had begun.

            Jerry Rogers walked in. Despite his apple pie demeanour, Jerry was the most self-consciously literary person I knew at UWO, equal parts Norman Mailer, Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. In first year we would stay up all night drinking and reading and reciting poetry, until at some point, fuelled by booze, Rogers would challenge me to a fight. That was usually no problem. He weighed about a hundred and sixty pounds. I was six foot three and a tight end on the junior varsity football team.

            “Here,” he said, tossing me a thin volume. “Here’s something a boy from Northern Ontario can appreciate.” I expected a collection of Robert Service. Not exactly. It was Lupercal by Ted Hughes, a poet I had never heard of. I leafed through. And then I read “Hawk Roosting” and its predators that “in sleep rehearse perfect kills and eat.” I was transfixed.

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