Rolling the Stone: Imagine Sisyphus Happy

By Leon Bernard

Fifty years ago, Leon Berrouard was one of the seven poets from PEI who went on a Canada Council sponsored reading tour that covered six Canadian provinces. Since that time, he penned two books of poetry and now his third book is fresh off the press. Rolling the Stone: Imagine Sisyphus Happy is a collection of 75 poems in a book completely designed by the PEI author.

In his introduction, Berrouard states that, ”like Sisyphus in the Ancient Greek Underworld (condemned to repeatedly roll a boulder up a hill), we on earth have our own repetitive tasks as we shoulder our stones up hills we freely choose.” His poems roll up comfortable hills and occasional mountains. There’s no grave anguish or misery along the way. And yet, the poetry documents serious realities that echo in the lives of many. If universality is a desirable feature in poetry, these poems have that quality. Nostalgic images and a variety of motifs evoke a wide range of emotions.  

The book begins and ends with the long poems, “Hilda’s Guild” and “An Elegy for Josh Underhay,” which eulogize the rich lives of two remarkable and well-known citizens of PEI.

Rolling the Stone is available at Bookmark and Indigo Books in Charlottetown, and at Clow’s Red and White in North Wiltshire.