From the Introduction by Rob Rolfe:
Hart rouge is another name for red osier dogwood (cornus stolonifera). The inner bark of this plant was dried and often mixed with tobacco by First Nations and Metis people, to be smoked for pleasure or ceremonial purposes. Today, red osier dogwood grows all along the post-industrial east shore of Owen Sound Bay. Here, many French-speaking Metis once lived, in a part of Owen Sound known as Mudtown. For me, the stands of red osier dogwood are a link to the poast, and to the history of this district, its working families, and its mostly vanished factories, trains, ships and docks.
From the Foreword by Andrew Armitage:
Hart Rouge is Rob Rolfe’s latest volume of poetry and short prose. It is a celebration of this old port on the Great Lakes, its Metis who made a home in Mudtown years before Owen Sound was born. It wakes up the echoes of the Sydenham Valley for me, making me realize how much Owen Sound’s history – both its hidden past and more modern life – means. Rob Rolfe is a poet supreme.