AUTHOR’S NOTE .........
My father seldom spoke about the years he spent in Canada before he met my mother. A mysterious presence in our lives, always on the periphery of the family, he seldom spoke at all.
His death in 1983 seemed a relatively insignificant event and I got on with my life. I was active in the art world and busy bringing up my two girls. I almost forgot about him, until in 2006 events caused me to wonder for the first time, who in heaven’s name was he?
This long narrative poem, as I see it, is a distillation of ten years of research into his astonishing history. In my attempt to give him life, where I found gaps in his narrative I have often augmented tantalizing fragments of information with imagined details. In order to keep his story concise and spare, I simplified when necessary and merged some events. Some names have been changed where the narrative demanded it, and while many of the characters existed – as evidenced by the documents included – there are a few invented figures who help move the story forward.
It is not the whole truth. But what is? My intention has been to make a small work of art out of an ordinary man’s extraordinary life.