The Habitant – poems about French Canada by William Henry Drummond
I was in Quebec a few weeks ago and stopped in Drummondville, and was immediately reminded of a poem I had to memorize in Grade 5. It was by Irish doctor William Henry Drummond, who had emigrated to Quebec in the 1860’s at the age of 10. After living through oppressive poverty, he eventually attended school and became a doctor and travelled around Quebec, learning much about life as a Habitant. He wrote many poems in dialect, which, when read aloud using the phonetic spellings of the words, give life to the stories of people and places of the time.
Here’s my recitation of one I learned in Grade 5, that I was pleased to be able to recite at Unplug’d 12.