LA DI DA LINDA ROGERS: Let’s get rid of this ‘Poet Laureate’



I’ve never been all that impressed by the occasional writing of Victoria’s current ‘Poet laureate,’ although I must admit that the lady was gracious enough not to throw me out of her home when I crashed an ‘open house’ party she threw a long time ago at the Maclure mansion on Douglas Street across from Beacon Hill Park where she lived at the time.

That was a very long time ago.

Today, however, I feel duty-bound to say that it is high time we found a civilized way to dethrone her from her exalted position as the City of Victoria’s ‘Poet laureate,’ if for no other reason than the publication of an execrable letter she wrote to the Editor of the daily monopoly rag on the contentious subject of the fate of the Johnson Street Bridge.

People are entitled to their silly opinions on any subject under the sun, of course, and God knows that I have made an ass of myself on more than one occasion, writing about all manner of subjects, whether public or private.

But this letter has to take the cake for being the most nauseating dollop of treacle I have ever read from the keypad of a Victoria writer, on any subject whatsoever.

Take care, dear reader, to make sure your morning breakfast is well-settled in your stomach before you try to ingest this putrid paean to political profligacy.

– Gregory Paul Michael Hartnell, President

Concerned Citizens’ Coalition



I was moved to tears when I read our mayor’s remarks about the proposed new bridge linking Johnson Street to Victoria West.

I am not an engineer, but I do know the metaphorical value of bridges.  

They are so much more than metal connecting two land masses.

A bridge is a poem.

This is why Victoria’s poets walked the Blue Bridge in June: To make the point that we value connection in our community.

It has been my wish that since the bridge must be replaced, and it is timely in terms of infrastructure funding, we regard this as an opportunity to make a statement about our city.

This is our chance to create a landmark that enhances our downtown esthetic and tells the world who we are.

As poet laureate, I would ask the planners to remember our history: Our gratitude to the forest, to the Songhees Nation, to our Chinese antecedents, builders of roads and bridges, and to the artists who vitalize our city.

As the mayor said, an artistic gateway to the downtown doesn’t have to cost more.

We have a beautiful poetree on Government Street.

I see bridge motifs of totems and trees on a Cathedral bridge, with poetry inscribed to mark important civic occasions, and opportunities to stop and view the miniature majesty of our small city.

The Garden City is a city of bridges.

We can and will connect human to human and landscape to landscape.


Linda Rogers

Poet laureate 



6 Responses to LA DI DA LINDA ROGERS: Let’s get rid of this ‘Poet Laureate’

  1. Yule Heibel says:

    Oh for pete’s sake. Gives the phrase “bridge to nowhere” a new dimension… :-/

  2. goyodelarosa says:

    Yes, indeed, our very own socialist make-work project … la di da …

    Thanks for all your great writing, Yule, at the website.

    Your balancing of strictly rational arguments debunking commonly-held myths and ‘bad reasons’ in favour of replacing the ‘Joseph Strauss Bridge’ with intense emotionally energetic arguments against its demolition makes for compelling reading, all of which I read out loud last night to my wife Dawn Keough.

    Keep up the good work.


    Gregory Hartnell

  3. Rick Van Krugel says:

    I suggest you get your facts straight before publicly slandering people on the internet, and I further urge you to publicly retract and apologize for your published misinformation concerning Ms. Rogers.

    PLEASE CORRECT YOUR FICTION AND PUBLISH THE FOLLOWING FACTS: Linda Rogers is a person of modest means; she is NOT an heir to the “Rogers sugar refining fortune”. She was once a tenant in the “Maclure mansion” on Douglas Street, where she occupied a $700/month apartment, one of five or six rental units in the building. True, over a quarter century ago she was married to a member of the family you feel a need to trash here. In parting she took nothing of said family’s alleged fortune.

    La Di Da, my ass!!

  4. goyodelarosa says:

    Thanks for the information, Mr. Van Krugel. As you see, I stand to be corrected, and have omitted the offending half-dozen words. I apologize for disseminating what I thought was correct information of public interest about Victoria’s ‘poet laureate.’

    However, I don’t think I have slandered Linda Rogers, nor was that my intention.

    In this country I enjoy my Charter-protected rights to freedom of expression, as I am sure you both do.

    I note for the record that Linda Rogers recently wrote a letter to the Editor of the Times Colonist saying that she supports Robert Latimer ‘100%.’

    Mr. Latimer was found guilty of killing his own daughter, and so that public advocacy of euthanasia by Linda Rogers is abhorrent to me, but in condemning it, I am doing nothing more than what I attempted to do in the article you critique.

    It’s called art criticism, and as artists, both of you should get used to it.

  5. Linda Rogers says:

    Nowhere will you find that I advocate for euthenasia, but I was raised in the doctrine of forgiveness.

    No one values the lives of children more than I do. However, I can hardly put myself in the shoes, and would not, of a person like Bob Latimer, who, along with his family, has been through agony neither of us can possibly imagine.

    “Let he who is without sin throw the first stone….” But that seems to be your hobby. Don’t you have anything better to do in your Rockland mansion? How many stones are there is that big lawn of yours?

    And, for your information, I am neither for or against a new bridge. I want the right and safe thing to happen; and I hope that, if a new bridge is necessary, it will stand as a symbol of our community.

    Saccharine, maybe, but we certainly need an antidote to bitter little pills like you.

  6. goyodelarosa says:

    Thanks for writing, Ms Rogers.

    It is indeed wonderful that you now say that you don’t advocate for euthanasia, but the fact remains that you put in writing that you support Robert Latimer 100%.

    That man has been found guilty of killing his own daughter.

    I am not saying that Mr. Latimer is wrong.

    I leave that determination to the Creator.

    I am saying that the Supreme Court found him guilty, and did not accept his plea that this taking of her life was somehow ‘merciful.’

    How can you support Robert Latimer 100% and also say that you don’t advocate for euthanasia?

    As for mercy, I believe that the Court is showing the appropriate mercy to Mr. Latimer in not taking his life, which is more than he did for his own daughter.

    Perhaps we can agree that the death penalty is a bad idea.

    I appreciate your clarification of your neutrality on the bridge issue.

    Somehow from your poem I got the impression you favoured a new one.

    As for ‘that big lawn,’ you must be mistaking me for one of two of my younger brothers who do indeed also live at Rockland addresses and have lawns.

    My wife and I do not have a lawn at 1357 Rockland.

    – Gregory Hartnell

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