Sandra Djwa

I Remember P. K.

Her conversation.
Quick, quirky, witty: you never knew what to expect—it could be startling at times.
Her absolute joy in the word: the enunciation of the word; the derivation of the word.
Her pleasure in a little gossip with friends—but not too much!

Her presence. She was 53 when I first met her in 1970.
I remember a purple Ports shirt, a silky lustrous fabric.
Large silver bangles, a silver brooch made of her father's uniform buckle, silver earrings.
Large beautiful eyes—grey, only slightly disguised by horn-rims.

Her art—the gaiety, the vivid colours, beautiful greens and golds.
The tropical worlds of her imagination.
Her octagons—Sufi meditations.

How can we forget her poems?
"In love they wore themselves in a green embrace"
"Consider a new habit—classical,"
"Those people in a circle reel me in."
"Adolescence," "Arras," "Another Space"—and we haven't got out of the A's yet!

Her character.
Her great capacity to love and—when required—to rail.
She was principled: duty first; do the work and don't complain.
Her incredibly high standards, coupled with great kindness to younger writers.
Her love of fun. Her capacity to have a party: to kick up her heels, to turn cartwheels on the grass.
Her belief in the unknown: that transcendent world for which her poetry and prose and art existed only as vehicles.

How can you possibly do justice to such a woman?

P. K. Page

November 23rd, 1916—
January 14th, 2010

Drawing of P. K. Page by Heather Spears

Drawing by Heather Spears