This was a commission by two architects who wanted a poem on the frosted glass of their bedroom door. I wrote the poem after a visit to their home, a cup of tea and a conversation. It was designed by one of the architects who is a master of type. In winter light, the sun comes through the letters and the words stretch out on the floor.
Hart House, University of Toronto
In 2010, I was invited by the Warden of Hart House at University of Toronto to help animate their discussions around the Mission and Vision for the House. Taking as its basis the original Founder’s Prayer, and pointing in the directions of self-reflection, active engagement, and the enormity of what and who is available to you at Hart House, I wrote the poem ‘What’s Inside”. The poem has been used widely in their advertising and promotions. The phrase below I wrote to accompany the mission statement. It has had multiple appearances, including on T-shirts! Here it is:
“Who you are is welcome; who you are becoming is why we’re here.”
It’s as though
we always stood here
side by side
in the middle
of a conversation, even
before we had words—excerpt from “Here We Are”
Did you ever see such a place?
Did you ever wonder
when you went into a public park
or through a field or over water
what you’d find there?
Did you ever pick up an album, plastic
slipping through your fingers, as you tried
to get to sound?
Did you ever go somewhere thinking you wanted x
only to discover a totally different y?
—excerpt from “What’s Inside” R.Bloom, 2010