Be the first to like this
Although my book on the poetry of Roger White is devoted primarily to his poetry, I have added special chapters to focus on a small selection of his letters, on his books of prose and here in this chapter on some of his other activities involving writing and poetry. I have done this to place his poetry in additional perspectives, those of a creative and imaginative life.
In a book celebrating the first hundred years of Hansaard in Canada's parliament, John Ward wrote that Roger White was "acknowledged by his colleagues as one of the finest shorthand writers ever to serve his country." He also served as the official reporter for the Supreme Court of British Columbia. These were some of the skills White brought to the Publishing Department at the Baha'i World Centre where he was editor-in-chief of several volumes of The Baha'i World in the 1980s.
White wrote the lyrics for 'Songs for Solo Voice' by Jean South in Luxembourg, and the text of a book "Forever in Bloom: The Lotus of Bahapur". Indeed, I am confident White had many other talents and abilities that are not mentioned in this book, devoted as it is to a study of White's poetry not his life's activities..
In 1989 White gave a poetry reading in Haifa. He had been at the Baha'i World Centre for eighteen years by that time. The evening's program was called 'Lipstick and Bruises.' The tone was entertaining with a gentle satire in the air as he read and spoke. White was a sit-down, not a stand-up, comedian.
He really was quite funny, not a surprising quality to anyone who knew his poetry and had received some of his letters. White satirized almost everything that the Baha'i World stood for but, in the end, everything and everyone's emotions and standards were left intact. Most contemporary comedians who have gained popularity leave not a stone or an institution standing after a thoroughgoing evening of satirical work is done. Not so with White. He certainly turned stones over with his satire but the process was gentle and embodied an etiquette, a refinement, of expression.