08 February 2020

The Poetry of Arnold Viersen

Earlier this week, during a House of Commons debate, Conservative Member of Parliament Arnold Viersen (Peace River–Westlock) asked fellow MP Laurel Collins (Victoria) whether she'd ever considered sex work. It was his most newsworthy act to date, though longtime Viersen watchers like myself hold aloft this untitled poem, which he recited in the House on May 6, 2016 (as recorded in Hansard):

    Springtime is here; our farmers are in their fields
    Assessing the moisture, gauging their yields.
    When rain is sparse and times are tough
    And the price of hay is especially rough,
    As Conservatives we understand
    It takes hard work to till the land.
    Alberta NDP passed a law for working on prairie farms:
    More expensive food – don't care who it harms.
    They said, “John dear, we want your food
    But only feed your cows when we're in the mood;
    No overtime or you'll pay the price”.
    Beef and pork will cost more than twice
    We're standing up for farmers, feeding cows 'till nine.
    We're standing up for farmers, working overtime.
    You eat their beef, you sit on leather,
    Your feet are shoed in stormy weather.
    Without their food, life would be grim
    Unless you plan to be awfully thin
    Family farms are getting fewer.
    Once they're gone, we're in deep manure.
    Don't egg me on, the yolk's on you.
    If farmers leave, what will we do?
    Bottom line – You want to eat?
    Support our farmers – Buy their wheat.

In his 1977 essay "The Poet as Performer Debases His Art," John Glassco puts it that few are able to do justice to verse in public recitation. But then, he didn't live on enough to witness something such as this:

Elected to the House of Commons in 2015, Mr Viersen is a graduate of Alberta's Canadian Covenant School in Neerlandia, situated at the intersection of Highway 769 and Township Road 615A between Mellowdale and Vega.

I'm saving Arnold Viersen's masterpiece, "Conservative Rap," for a future post.

Related posts:


  1. "Conservative Rap"

    Did you misplace the C?

    1. Roger, you're reminding me that the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance Party began as the Canadian Conservative Reform Alliance Party (CCRAP).