Big Lift Ferry Poem F022

The cities have changed –
But the harbour’s still the same –
Views from the ferry –
This Halifax Explosion
Anniversary ev’ning




Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion.



Notes to this poem…

On this 98th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion, I had a chance to ride the ferry across the harbour where the explosion took place. Not the exact spot of the explosion, of course, but pretty close. It was the first time I had ever been on the waters on the anniversary of the explosion.

Being in the spot where this largest man-made explosion to date in 1917, which killed over 2,000 and injured over 9,000 others, leaving 25,000 homeless, there was only one thing to think about on the ferry ride. What I realized as I looked around was that the cities of Halifax and Dartmouth to each side of the harbour have changed, of course. However, the harbour would have changed very little. That made things a little more real rather than just all the photos I had seen of the time. It felt like I was more in the space.

The F-series poems are part of a collection composed on my ferry rides across Halifax Harbour when the buses aren’t crossing the MacDonald bridge due to the Big Lift bridge redecking. This should keep happening until at least December 2016.


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