Thomas Kidd’s ode to Lulu Island

Lulu Island settler Thomas Kidd had a great love for Richmond, somewhat like an adoptive parent with respectfully affectionate love for a daughter (although the poem acknowledges that Lulu is actually the child of  the Fraser River coming together with the sea).  For today’s citizens and friends of Richmond, the poem provides an insight into a precious land, crafted by Nature, treated gently by First Nations people, and adopted by settlers as the unspoiled child/gem that Thomas Kidd appreciates.

I have done some poetic analysis of “Lulu Island” and will share it with you by way of a link below the poem. For now, I encourage you to experience the poem aloud by reading it aloud.

Lulu Island
by Thomas Kidd, 1846–1930

Thomas Kidd of Richmond, BC, 1846-1930Child of the Fraser River and the sea,
Fair Lulu Island where I built my home,
Though I had seen fair lands ere I saw thee,
I came and saw and said “No more I’ll roam.”

Thine open lands inviting to the plough,
Thy clumps of woods where spruce and cedar vie
For Beauty’s prize in height and symmetry,
And many kinds of the deciduous bough.

With wild rose bordering all, whose spring display
Crowns every bush and festoon-links the trees
And fills with fragrance sweet our springtime breeze:
A beauty that no words can e’er portray.

And what a setting, Little Gem, is thine!
Olympian Gods could never such design;
A border of great mountains guard thee round
With, for a clasp, Mount Baker, crystal-crowned.

Consider reading my thorough response, “Experiencing Thomas Kidd’s ‘Lulu Island‘.” It tries not to assume prior knowledge of poetry but does assume alert learners.

This article is one in a series. The core article in the series is “An open letter to Thomas Kidd (1846–1930).”


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