We, who are Adria Coalfleet Phillips’ friends, have watched her “Songs of the Avon” come into being with appreciation and delight. Ships, the music of the wind and sea, the River in all its moods, even in its stark and dreadful beauty at low tide – love of these is in her blood. She has one other love which now and then reveals itself in her poems – love of the history and traditions of this small seaport town in which she has lived most of her life, within sight, sound and smell of the Avon River.
Of course, Mrs. Phillips comes naturally by her love of the sea and all things connected with it. A sea-captain’s daughter, it is perhaps her proudest boast that, of the 250 Hantsportonians who have sailed the seven seas as captains of their craft, “34 were Davisons and all related to me”. As a child, she sailed to distant ports on her father’s ships often enough to have kept vivid memories of the great square riggers of earlier days and their fascinating wind-filled sails, memorials which, she says, remain with her “like old songs”. Not all her poems, however, are “sea-songs” for, with the true poet’s eye, she sees the pathos, beauty and significance in “little things” and records them for us in some of her briefer pieces.
We salute this little book – with the conviction that it is only the forerunner of other and, perhaps, greater things to come from Adira Phillips’ heart and pen.
Georgie M. Wall
Hantsport-on-the-Avon, Nova Scotia
February 29th, 1948