“After Rain” Again: P.K. Page and the Labour of Others

  • Robert David Stacey University of Ottawa


This paper reads P.K. Page’s “After Rain” in terms of its treatment of labour and its relationship to an aesthetic experience of “beauty.” Arguing against a tendency to read the poem as depicting a Modernist crisis of subjectivity whereby the poet’s desire to sympathize with a suffering other is compromised by a poetics of depersonalization, the paper proposes we consider “After Rain” as exemplary of Page’s life-long commitment to an aesthetic philosophy that defines itself in contradistinction to the world of work. If “After Rain” embodies a crisis, that crisis is institutional rather than personal, philosophical rather than stylistic, one brought about by the destabilizing presence of a worker in the garden of art.       

Author Biography

Robert David Stacey, University of Ottawa
Robert David Stacey is an Associate Professor of Canadian Literature at the University of Ottawa. His current research focuses on the relationship between aesthetics and representations of labour in poetry. His most recent article on this topic is "Robots and the 'End of Work' in Archibald Lampman's 'City of the End of Things' (UTQ 85.2, 2014).