LitRx: Something Old, Something New, Something CanLit, Something Blue

Our inaugural edition of LitRx has a decidedly lovey bent: our reader has asked for some Canlit readings for their upcoming nuptials. We’ve selected two that stir our own hearts.


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All Lit Up presents LitRx, literary prescriptions for all of life’s problems. If you have a question about books, life, booklife, or any of those permutations, send us a question. If selected, we’ll post it, anonymously, and give you an answer (and maybe a book suggestion, too) that we hope really helps.This month’s question:Can you help me find some quality romantic/quirky readings for a wedding ceremony on Toronto Island? We’re looking for Canlit poetry or prose. For example, although not Canadian, I love Felix Gonzales-Torres’ Untitled (Perfect Lovers).Love Is Not Necessarily Patient or KindFirst of all, LINNPOK, congratulations on what we assume are your upcoming nuptials! We’re totally on board with your decision to read Canlit at the ceremony – an amazing secular alternative for your big day. We’ve also taken note of the beautifully-bittersweet Untitled as our inspiration.
We have to note that this was harder than we initially thought it would be – Canlit seldom points to the happy side of the emotions gauge, especially all the way through. It was Untitled that gave us our licence to look for loves that burn brightly and ones that weather more than thought possible; ones that have superseded the partners’ previous, cumulative heartaches to become something doggedly here. We’ve chosen two passages that could be read alone, or combined with other Canlit classics (we hear All My Friends Are Superheroes is already a wedding fave).
Our first recommendation is from Leanne Simpson’s Islands of Decolonial Love from ARP Books, from the narrative poem “she told him 10 000 years of everything.” The poem details the first meeting of two Anishnaabeg who’d only heard of each other, but recognize in each other both Sabe (bigfoot) and their love at first sight. While the whole piece is deeply romantic, capturing all the nuances of falling in love in just a few short pages, the paragraph that clinched us was this:what happened next is the kind of rare that happens only when certainty melts fear into nothingness. their eyes met and no one looked away. relief and breath poured into the space between their bodies. she pulled his body into hers, into an embrace of complete knowing, of profound acceptance. he let go of everything that he had to carry and fell into her arms. he had recognized her immediately. (p. 75)
Next, from Laisha Rosnau’s Pluck, from Nightwood Editions, is the varying marriage advice from its title poem. We like the following part best, when commitment comes organically and almost in spite of what’s expected of people in love (BONUS: it might get a few laughs from the congregation):
When you meet him, be wary,
Tell yourself he’ll never change,
he’s not a project, you’re not
that into him, but then he gets in 
and you egg him on until both of you
say yes then branch out together
and, my God, bear fruit, as though you’re
a tree, rooted, fickle as seasons.
(p 22-23) Wishing you all the best, LINNPOK, in luck and in love,LitRx