I was born in Gin Cove, Newfoundland, on November 25, 1885 and died in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on March 23, 1953. My life for many years was that of a fisherman off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. A quadriplegic for 17 years, after falling off a roof, I wrote these poems while bedridden. Although I had some mobility in my arms, my fingers were paralyzed in a clenched fist manner. A typewriter was placed on my chest and with a pencil held in my fist I punched out each letter with the eraser end. I derived a great deal of pleasure in writing these poems; to be sure you'll enjoy reading them, and you will occasionally hear the dialect of my Newfoundland roots. Please leave a comment.
This site for poetry is not my site, but rather my grandfather's. I never knew him before his accident, so my wonderful, fond memories are always of the times we spent together at his bedside, while he told me stories and I drew him pictures. Every picture I drew when in kindergarten was for him; he told me he liked turtles, so I made him one out of (can you believe this?) asbestos.
My mother, Nina Frampton Beattie, told me the story of how his work as a fisherman was seasonal, and money was tight, so one winter he took a job on the Newfoundland seal hunt to help feed his family. When he came back, he broke down and cried to my grandmother and said he'd never go again ... the baby seals sounded just like a human baby when it cried. It broke his heart.
I loved him very much, and felt honoured in some strange way, that he died on my sixth birthday. I still mourn the loss of this dear, gentle man. As my cousin, Betty, said, "Wouldn't he be surprised to know that his poetry could be read by anyone in the world with a click of a button." I hope you enjoy them.
The Framptons were among the earliest settlers of Newfoundland, arriving before 1700. It isn't a big surprise that they settled in a place surrounded by the ocean, as the name Frampton, a Saxon word, means "Village by the Water Frome," a reference to their Dorset roots.