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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Two generations of modern French-Canadian poets : a study in contrasts Dyer, Sheila Josephine 1969

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TWO GENERATIONS OF MODERN FRENCH CANADIAN POETS A STUDY IN CONTRASTS by Sheila Josephine Dyer B.A., University of British Columbia, 1966. A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in the Department of French We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH* COLUMBIA January, 1969 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and Study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of French The University of British Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date January 8, 1969 ABSTRACT In this thesis I have attempted to show the differences in themes, attitudes, subjects, and poetic techniques that exist between two succeeding generations of modern French Canadian poets. Alain Grandbois"and Anne Hebert (born in 1900 and 1916), respectively) constitute, in my study, the elder generation, while Gatien Lap'ointe , Fernand Ouellette, and Paul Chamberland (born in 1931, 1930, and 1939, respectively) are the more youthful poets. I have divided my thesis into chapters corresponding to the areas of comparison that were mentioned above and within every chapter I consider, as much as possible, each one of the five poets. I have found that,- with regard to "subject," the older poets are especially concerned, in their poetry, with the "je" and its rare pleasures and its more frequent woes while the younger poets move away from this restricted concern with the "self" and its private and difficultly penetrated world towards a. wider involvement in the affairs of all men. Seeing and experiencing reality with the eyes and the sensibilities of all men, of whom they consider themselves to be the brothers, they speak less of "me" and more of "us" and "you." Their subject is no longer the private and highly personal "je" but is instead, the more universal and objective "we" or "them." Attitude evolves between the two generations as well. The classical despair and the defeatism of the elder writers stiffens into optimism and challenge among the more recent poets. The two themes considered, love and nature, are treated in dramatically varied fashion by the two sets of writers. Alain Grandbois and Anne Hebert see nature as antagonistic and menacing and love as either impossible or deceiving while Gatien Lapointe, Fernand Ouellette, and Paul Chamberland glory in the solace and comfort of a peaceful natural order and sing praises of the marvels and the promises of love and the loving and loved woman. Technical practices also change considerably from one generation to the next, ranging from the conservatism of the elder poets to the creative daring of the more recent poets. The poetic -works examined in this thesis are Grandbois1  Les lies de la Nuit (1944), Rivages de 1'Homme (1948), and L'Etoile Pourpre (1957), all of which are collected together in the compound edition Poemes of 1963, Les Songes en Equilibre (1942), Le Tombeau des Rois (1953), and Poemes (i960)* of Anne Hebert, Le Temps Premier (1962) , Ode au Saint-Laurent (1963), and Le Premier Mot (1967) of Gatien Lapointe, Ces Anges de Sang (1955), Sequences de l'Aile (1958), and Le Solell Sous la Mort (1965) of Fernand Ouellette and Paul Chamberland1s Terre Quebec (1964) and L'Afficheur Hurle *Poemes contains a re-edition of Le Tombeau des Rois (1953) as well as the most recent collection of Anne Hebert1s poetry, Mystere de la Parole (I960) . .(1964). I do not study Lapointe's Jour Malaise" (1953) nor his Otages de la Joie (1955) because in them the poet expresses with much less skill the same general ideas that he voices in his later volumes. Geneses (1962) of Paul Chamberland could not be examined because its predominately religious bent keeps it outside of the thematic area that I have restricted myself to. TABLE OP CONTENTS CHAPTER PAGE ABSTRACT iii INTRODUCTION vI. SUBJECTS 1 Footnotes 21 II. ATTITUDES 4 Footnotes 49 III. NATURE 53 Footnotes . . 76 IV. THE WOMAN AND LOVE 9 Footnotes . 94 V. POETIC TECHNIQUES 97 Footnotes 108 CONCLUSION Ill BIBLIOGRAPHY 115 INTRODUCTION In the pages that follow, I will attempt to show by a careful consideration of subjects, attitudes, themes, and poetic techniques, how two generations of modern French Canadian poets—the one including Alain Grandbois and Anne Hebert and the other including Gatien Lapointe, Fernand Ouellette and Paul Chamberland—differ, in spite of a few similarities, rather radically the one from the other. I will discuss the shift in the subject from the first person singular, the "je," of Hebert and Grandbois, to the "you," the "us" and the "everyman" of the younger poets. I will trace the evolution in attitude from the resignation and deepest melancholy of the elder writers to the spirited cheerfulness, firm determination and the unflinching confidence of Lapointe, Ouellette and Chamberland. I will illustrate two distinctive and opposing treatments of the nature theme and the love theme. Finally, I intend to consider briefly some basic technical variations. CHAPTER I SUBJECTS The verse of Alain Grandbois has been described as universal and committed. Some critics see it not as an unhappy inventory of an individual soul closed in upon itself and feeding on its own distress. Instead they consider it as being involved with the drama.of all men inhibited by the rigorous restrictions imposed upon them by time and by their own mortality. Of his poetry, Michele Lalonde has said: Elle a quitte" l'univers etrangle du moi en rompant le cercle vicieux de 1'experience individuelle, pour projeter le drame humain dans une perspective cosmique et le reporter sur l'echelle des infinis avec une dimension effrayante de fatalite.1 According to these critics, Grandbois recognizes that he is not alone in his suffering and he associates his anguish with that of all men. When he speaks of his conscience and his feelings, he is speaking of the conscience and feelings of all men. The poem "Parmi les Heures" of Les lies de la Nuit records a fraternal elan. The poet, united with all men, appeals and protests to the gods of fate who have doomed everyone to instability within the ephemeral instant: Nous tous avec des coeurs nus comme des chambres vides Dans un meme elan fraternel 2 Nous leverons nos bras dans des appels durs comme les astres Cherchant en vain au bout de nos doigts crispes Ce mortel instant d'une fuyante e'ternite2 In other instances as well Grandbois appears to be fully engaged in all men's despair. "Je tremble de 1'inepuisable angoisse/Du rivage de l'homme"3 However, to establish Grandbois1 poetry as primarily universal and participatory would be to misinterpret it. The majority of his poems are actually highly subjective. They relate his private experiences and prominent in them is the heart and the sensibility of the poet. Grandbois is not, in fact, an "engaged" and communicating poet and he has not made himself a spokesman for humanity. Why should he speak for and to men when he has discovered to his great bitterness that people will not listen. In the poem "Ah Toutes Ces Rues," the poet is ignored by and terribly alienated from other men. He has found that there is no such thing as human "fraternity." Ah je cherchais les hommes dans l1ombre pour l'appui d'une egale fraternite Mais ils ne me repondaient pas Ils fuyaient sous la pluie dans la nuit Oh je sais j'ai tente* de leur parler ils me repondaient dans une langue etrangere Ils me regardaient avec un etrange etonnement Ils riaient parfois et j'etais le fou de la nuit 3 Disillusioned, he states that his "inner door," which might have provided him with an opening on the world, is closed forever, and he retreats deeper into himself to write primarily of his own misfortune. Grandbois1 poems seem sometimes fraternal only because the readers identify so closely with the poet's personal dilemma which, in its despair before death and fleeting time, is everyman's dilemma. But even though a statement of universal realities, the poems are still the expression of the reactions and sentiments of the individual Grandbois before these realities and as such must always be read in a purely Grandboisien context. Pierre de Grandpre has attempted to define the point of view in our poet's work: Tout cela s'entend et concerne chacun. Mais il est evident que les clefs veritables de cette poesie seraient a. chercher dans la psychologie profonde de l'auteur, qu'elles ne nous sont livrees qu'indirectement, par des agregats d'images ou de rythmes auxquels preside 11inconscient, ferme a toute indiscrete exploration rationnelle.5 Grandbois' poetry is full of intimate memories, dreams, hopes, and despairs which concern him only and which.therefore have a deeper significance for the poet than for his reader. It is his own reaction before all the tragedy of his situation as a man that the poet records in his poetry. Grandbois, stranded and alone in his personal desert, grasps for the day and for liberation from his mortal bonds. He cries: et moi sous mes seuls cheveux et moi moi mes morts dans mon dos et leurs doigts lourds 4 et ce nombre fatal et leur bruit dans mon silence et leur effrayant silence dans mon desert Et moi cherchant la clarte comme un homme de faim moi cherchant parmi la chevelure des larmes mon propre jour moi criant mes cris glaces dans ce vide inhumain et moi ne trouvant dans mes cris que la nuit decedee . et ce grand rire de pierre inattaquable He looks longingly back to what once was and to all the things and people that he has known and loved: 0 mes beaux Visages avec un sourire triste 0 Vous tous sur ce chemin perdu de mon passe? He remembers a beautiful mother now dead. He evokes her gentleness and the tender glow of the flesh on her knees where, as a child, he. once used to sit. He remembers her delicate fingers brushing, in a sign of affection, across his fore head. There are childish impressions which still remain of an infant epoch, memories of green parks and flowerbeds still fresh with dew at ten o'clock, of shadowy elms in the alley and of milk like the sweet sap of a crushed heart. These personal visions of a pleasant past are only applicable to and translatable by other men in that most sensitive men, at the coming to severe adulthood, yearn for an alternative to their 5 new condition. They often find that alternative in a dream-return to their childhood's innocence. Otherwise, because of the personal detail and the uniqueness of the individual vision, the reader is unable to make these Grandboisien memories truly his. They are the private property of the poet. In a slim collection of publicly conscious poems, Mystere de la Parole. Anne Hebert denounces reverie and solitude. There is a seizing upon life and reality and a warm union with the world and with other human beings. In the introduction, "Poesie Solitude Rompue," she speaks of the day in all its truth and fact which vibrates anxiously and promisingly at the horizon and of the call which comes to her from all the things and people which exist so intensely about her. She is urged to sing, in her poet's voice, of men and realities. She understands that the poet has a role to play within life, not outside of it. He is to interpret the day by day pattern of human existence. He is to name, define, justify and inspire men in general as well as the men of his Quebec. He is to express man's dreams and translate his revolt and his search for dignity. La poesie n'est pas le repos du septieme jour. Elle agit au coeur des six premiers jours du monde, dans le tumulte de la terre et de l'eau confondus, dans 1'effort de la vie qui cherche sa nourriture et son nom. Elle est soif et faim, pain et vin.° 6 But Mystere de la Parole (the last collection of her poems to date and the indication of a completely new concept of the world and of herself as related to it) and its attitude of belonging and participating is not representative, by any means, of the dominant tone of Anne Hubert's poetry. Actually, the greater part of her work, contained in Le Tombeau des Rois and Les Songes en Equlllbre. is, like that of her cousin Saint-Denys Garneau by whom she was greatly influenced, of an intensely individual tone. It is an internal poetry of dreams and recalling, a subjective poetry where private dramas are recorded. "Par sa resonance la poe'sie d'Anne Hubert se situe toujours a l'e'tage de son cpeur et de sa conscience. It is the poet's own experience before the passage of time, light and life which is described. She cries out the tragic discovery of all her missed opportunities to her mother: Ils sont trente jours de juin, Et moi, Maman, je veux celui-ci'. Ils sont trente jours de juin, Mais ce ne sera, plus jamais le meme... Ils sont trente jours de juin; Peut-etre pour moi etait marque" Cet aujourd'hui que j'ai manque" i10 It is her drama of succumbing to a despairing spiritual darkness which she recalls in her verse. It is her childhood joy which has been swept downstream and away forever. Those are her memories of youthful delights now gone—wild playtimes in fields, the simple friendship for her dog, a moment's silence beside her parents, the taste of strawberries and ripe apples. 7 It is an incommunicable fantasy world she creates, compre hensible to no one but herself: mon songe Ren fe me"! 11 This tendency to dream and to meditate upon personal demons was developed by a long childhood sickness which condemned the poet to extended sequestrations within her room. Indeed Paul Wyczynski sees Hubert's entire poetic experience as a continuation of that childhood seclusion in that it appears to take place entirely within a closed room (such as the sick chamber described in the poem "Jardin de Fievre") which bars any expansion beyond to reality and people. J'e'touffe dans un Jardin; Des bouquets Lachement faits Et noues de rubans M'dcoeurent et m'enfievrent. Jardin clos, Sans vrai ciel, ni horizon; Ciel de papier, Mur de papier. 0 fleurs des rideaux Et de la tapisserie, Laissez-moi done dormirIx^ This constant concern with the self is due also to the fact that the poet has discovered that even if she strives to bridge the gap there is no communion with others and therefore no reason to write about or for them. The poet, like all men, is very much alone. She is caught behind but a token of a wall in 8 "Un Mur a. Peine" and yet she is unable to progress beyond it. She has been assigned by some cruel fatality to a little space of existence and any gestures which might extend beyond her to reach others and the world have been limited severely. Petit espace Et mesure exacte Des gestes futurs. 13 In "Une Petite Morte," she speaks of each individual forced to live within his own tight interior, leading a narrow and minute existence, having to be content with arranging his own little troubles and leaving his gestures to swing alone and unconnected, ending always with himself. In "Eveil au Seuil d'Une Fontaine," the first poem of Le Tombeau des Rois. it seems that there might be a successful movement towards a communion with other men. Gilles Marcotte says that the gesture which is created within the poet is a "ge'neroslte' des mains,a double action of embracing and giving, and that, at the beginning of the new day, it appears that the walls about the poet have been shattered and that there will be an accord of her soul with the souls of others and a reaching towards and a holding of others and a being held and being loved in return. But this hope is dashed in a later poem of the same collection, "Les Mains," where a woman (the poet) sits quietly, 9 fascinated by her continually outstretched hands which want to give of themselves but can offer nothing but a desire of friendship and love for they are cramped by a strange fatality and can seize upon nothing. She remains there, with the offering of all of herself, but nothing she offers is accepted and the rich and generous human warmth which lies latent in her cannot be liberated and may never be exchanged with other people. Defeated, the poet withdraws deeper into herself and resolves, as does the character.Francois of her novel Le Torrent, not to try to escape her prison of solitude, but to make it her adventure and her only wealth. Je me penche tant que je peux. Je veux voir le gouffre, le plus pres possible. Je veux me perdre en mon aventure, ma seule et epouvantable richesse.15 In his poetry, Gatien Lapointe does talk of himself, of -his determination and happy anticipations, of his gloominess, and of his death. However, although he is concerned with it, the self certainly does not hold the same importance for him as it does for the poets of the older generation and he wishes to make his verse principally an involvement with other men. In "Le Pari de ne pas Mourir," his introduction to Le Premier Mot, Lapointe stresses the importance of a social poetry, the aim of which, in the most limpid language and style possible, is to communicate with others and he advocates that the poet 10 portray man and his destiny as well as his everyday life and tasks. Lapointe says that, as a bard, he cares for the very ordinary and very beautiful real world and that his only rightful place is at the level of common man: II n'est de beaute que le sillage des humains II n'est de verite que le battement du eoeur.16 He affirms that whenever in his verse he says "je," he speaks for all men and that the names of others mingle constantly with his. He opts for man in all his earthly reality and for the world in all its violence and splendor: Je dis l'homme arrivant sur terre Accueillant dans ses mains le terrestre plaisir Je dis l'homme ployant sous le fardeau Et construisant son nom jour apres jour Je dis l'homme decouvrant la premiere peine Et tragant sur le sol la premiere aventure Toute la saveur du monde eclaire sa bo.uche Toute l'angoisse du monde assombrit ses yeux!7 Lapointe believes that, as a poet of men, he has a mission to exort them to a transcendence of their rather grim human situation. His is a poetry of persuasion which urges man to a sort of spiritual rebirth, to a proud possession of his earth and to a bold affirmation of his presence in time and space. In many an imperative verse, he incites and even orders men to mould and build themselves, to accomplish their most obscure desires, and to tear off all the temporal shackles which bind them: 11 Modele dans tes mains l'obscur desir Cherche au-dela. de l'horizon Cherche au plus pres de ton visage Souffrir devient espoirl8 Creuse la saison de parfait feuillage Apprends sur la terre le nom de l'homme!9 Construis ton coeur avec ton propre mai Tu n'es plus libre de mourir.20 As well as beckoning him onwards, the poet can alleviate man's suffering and ease his life's load. He challenges the "laws" which restrict his fellows and he fights and defies for them. His magic powers can restore man's dignity, recreate and return to him all the candor and optimism of his child hood, and bring him the "temps premier," the new and virgin era of eternal things and limitless possibilities. J'e'touffe l'animale angoisse de mourir21 J'eveille d'un souffle chaque enfance J'allume un phare au pied de chaque route Je mets des nids dans chaque main Dans chaque pas je plante un mot d'espoir2^ J'ouvre- a la chair un /jour nouveau. Je lacherai un printemps dans le monde2^ 12 J1ouvre le seuil d'une pure saison Chaque pas est un rendez-vous d'amour20" Dedicated to mankind in general, Lapointe's poetry is also devoted, more particularly and to a slightly lesser degree, to the people of Quebec. His verse is a praise of Quebec's seasons, wilderness and people as well as an indirect and non-ideological translation of the political discontent of its inhabitants and a glorious vision of its tomorrow. Ici le printemps est un bref eclat de rire Et l'automne un grand fruit qui joint les rives27 Mon pays a franchi ses frontieres de mort Mon pays sort debout sur le seuil du printemps La-bas a l'Est un fleuve se mele a la mer La mer a pris mon pays par la main Pour la douceur et les tourments du monde . . .2° Pernand Ouellette, especially in the volume, Le Soleil Sous la Mort. sees both his verse and his life as acts of solidarity with humanity. His poetry is concerned with modern man relentlessly tracked by his own hellish creation, the atomic bomb. It urges men to escape from the approaching nuclear peril before it is too late. It also envisions a destroyed humanity: 13 Cours 6 funambule sur ta corde en givrel Le soleil se tait. L'atome se suicide. I'dteraite" se detache de 1'homme.2° The poet sympathizes with those who have suffered and died in the wars of our epoch. In "Me'moire" he strains to bring back, somehow, those whom he considers his brothers, those whom he calls "our dead," the victims of concentration camps and bomb attacks. He identifies with their deaths and even sees himself as partially, although very distantly, responsible for their extermination. Morts de Varsovie Buchenwald Oradour Hiroshima sortez du soleilI Revenez pour les rulsseaux, pour les roses et rossignols.30 His poetry, in its involvement with others, is not all sympathy. It criticizes man as well, but in denouncing, the poet does not stand apart and, recognizing himself as one with all men, he acknowledges his own guilty complicity. There are occasional angry outbursts throughout Ouellette's verse against man and his capacity to be blind and insensitive. He paints a picture of man, himself included, who refuses to see and appreciate all the fine and delicate natural things which exist about him. On deposait la lune dans un passe de decence.31 0 l'huile de l'automne, terreuse et forte, que nul homme ne veut boire. . .32 En nous, les insensibles au jour,33 He is disappointed in soulless and emotionless man who cannot make the effort to love sincerely and whose "affections" are often warped by mercenary physical desire. He speaks of the gaping abyss which has usurped the place of the heart within man's breast. He describes, in "Stele," a spiritually sterile man who wastes his life in machinal gestures and sentiments. Obscurity is his natural habitat and he is uneasy in the light and truth of the day. His death is as pathetic and ignoble as his life and his terrified cry is a dagger which strikes at and condemns too late his worthless existence. He condemns modern men, responsible for the presence of deathly nuclear war machines. II donnait 1'amour solaire, 1'homme qui maintenant amorce la mort. 34 Contemporary reality in all its harsh, chrome-plated ugliness does not escape the poet's indignation. In this mathematical, mechanical and cold time, chemistry and other technical philosophies are all-embracing and omnipresent, cities suffocate in their own gasoline fumes, love becomes a business transaction and childhood and fairy-tales are scientifically regulated. Dans les regions du rachat, profondes cites en filigrane dans l'e'ther, les pleins de-sirs emergent d'un plasma de petroie. Cafe mokal La Presse! Rue Sainte-Cathe-rinei L'odeur des banques se mele aux brises de l'enfance. Au long des devan-tures, les passants surchauffent un ciel e"teint. Ils s'enfoncent dans la brume de chloro-phylle. Nul souvenir de neige ne vient filtrer 1'eclairage d'une saison de neons.35 Sur des berceuses d'atomes, 1' enfant balan-r ce ses fees blondes, et l'amant aligne ses amours aux cadences d'un journal de Bourse. 16 The personal and self-reflecting element is not absent from the poetry of Paul Chamberland. In "Le Poeme sans image," the poet encounters himself during a night of fleeting streets and strange, unfriendly rain and, dismal and confused, he perceives his life's passage from childhood to adulthood. He recognizes the years now faded and dispersed which will never return. je me regardais fuir pour toujours 1'allee des anciennes annees37 But the subjective aspect is a very minor one in the whole of the work of Paul Chamberland. Indeed, his conception of poetry is that it be a portrayal of the actuality and the human circumstance. He is proud to have rejected, for the most part, the narcissistic verse of personal reflection and he says that he has cracked the looking-glass poem, in which the poet does nothing but contemplate himself. Non, je n'attends rien de la poesie. Je coupe court a tous ces mythes de cabinet: poesie-exercice-spirituel, poesie-aventure-interieure, poesie-transmutation-des-mots, poesie-poesie-PO-HE-ZZiiie. Tout ca, ce sont des excuses, des defenses, des ecrans pour masquer ce que est a DIRE: les Forces majeures et enchevetrees de la Terre et de 11Homme, l'Histoire en son tuf et ses geysers.3° Chamberland has a universal conscience. He laments "everyman" whose route on earth is treacherous and plagued by siren song and whose every step forward is the possibility of a 17 fall-. Man is obscure, dissolvable and very expendable: l'on s'evanouit sur la rive obscure, frele figure translucide une espece de pellicule soluble illusoire agitation de la figure desertee39 The poet is concerned with modern man in the contemporary world as well as with mortal man in the universal poetic sense. He speaks of those who are hurtled to their deaths on the highways. In the second poem of Trois "Purees" Inedites. Chamberland trembles to see the thin strand of blood on the neck of the little girl crushed by a car and he barely contains his rage at the rains which disperse the green perfume of her body scarcely formed in this world. He writes of children destroyed in wars. He identifies, in "Hauts-Fournaux," with a continent's down trodden poor. The poet and the worker are associated and bound together by the same angry dream of revolt which will liberate them of their masters. His concern is great for men who are tortured and maimed and everyday afflicted by the terrible nuclear threat. les corps sont beaux a. l'heure du desastre et cette heure est a chaque minute ici ou la, dans le monde lorsque le monde n'est plus que menace nuit piquee de rasoirs hurlements sirenes fumees fumees horri bles fumees de bombardements d'incendies mons tres de fer plaquees sur le fugitif l'homme petit insecte traque terrasse eclabousse le monde d'un clair filet de sang d'une pale detresse de peau qui est contestation de. la solidite nucleaire^O But Chamberland is associated almost entirely with a specific region of men—with the "pays," with Quebec and its 18 inhabitants sunk into a political, moral and social impasse. In the tradition of the poets Pablo Neruda, Antonio Machado and Vladimir Mayakovsky whom he admires for their "engagement" in the matters of their people and their countries, Paul Chamberland is foremost a patriot. Terre Quebec is dedicated "au pays" while l'Afficheur Hurle is devoted "a mes compatriotes." Homme de cette terre QUEBEC, de ce "pays incertain," je veux nommer le pays, l'arracher aux serres du froid et de la nuit, le delivrer, dans mon poeme, de cette obscure parole qui gemit encore aux limbes de sa prehistoire.41 In his verse, he identifies with the revolutionary cause of the PLQ and he supports them in opposing the English "overlords." nous restons camarades nous restons vos raisons sont les notres et qu'importe q.u'au pilori de 1'anglais aujourd'hui vous tourniez que nous tournions demaln^"2 The poet is tightly linked to the Quebec drama and nothing, he says, will ever save him from the bitter torment of the men of his land. His suffering, expressed so often throughout his verse, is a participatory and a fraternal suffering for he cannot separate himself from their anguish. je vis je meurs d'un pays poignarde dans le plein coeur de ses moissons de ses passions et ma douleur est laide je ne sais la nommer^ His fellow Quebecers are so closely integrated to his very physical being that he feels within his own flesh a decay and a 19 rot corresponding to theirs. mais jer sentais dans mes chairs la decomposition de mille visages parents^ In his poems he enumerates Quebec's grievances and condemns its oppressors. He lashes out at the masters of Quebec—the sweetly-smiling, pot-bellied, patronizing and condescending "speak-white" English. He laments his people's social, political and economic servitude and talks of their ignominious disintegration as a race in a land which is theirs but occupied. These prostituted people are sinking into anonymity and when finally vanished from the planet's surface will not even possess the curt epitaph of beheaded people or starvation victims. Their legacy will be a shameful white unwritten page in a history book. eh la ruelle Saint-Christophe s'acheve un peuple jamais ne" une histoire It dormir debout un conte qui finit par le d^but^ Chamberland sees his poetry as an instrument of political action. The poem is politically active and it is fired, like a volley, at the oppressors of the French Canadians. . . . le poeme-salve s'arme jusqu'aux dents la poe'sie s'emmanche et vibre au meme bois que le couteau46 In order to hurl it as a challenge, Chamberland risks disfiguring the poem so that it is no longer poetically and stylistically correct or even readable. que le poeme se defigure que le poeme s'appopulace qu'il se fasse boue et crachat au front des etoiles trop pures qui minaudent par-dela les barbeles des villes 47 CHAPTER I. FOOTNOTES 1. Michele Lalonde, "Temoignages," Liberte , II (January-February, I960), p. I85. 2. Alain Grandbois, "Parmi les Heures...", Poemes, Editions de l'Hexagone, Montreal, 1963, pp. 24-25. 3. "Ah Terre Rongeuse," Ibid., p. 122. 4. "Ah Toutes Ces Rues...", Ibid. . pp. 79-80. 5. Pierre de Grandpre, Dlx Ans de Vie Litteraire au Canada  Francals, Beauchemin, Montreal, 1966, p. 35. 6. "Ces Murs Protecteurs...", Poemes. pp. 57-58. 7. "C'est a Vous Tous...", Ibid., p. 31. 8. Anne Hebert, "Poesie, Solitude Rompue," Poemes. Editions du Seuil, Paris, I960, p. 71. 9. Paul Wyczynski, "L'Univers Poetique d'Anne Hebert," L'Enseignement Secondaire. XXXXII (1962), p. 51. 10. Anne Hubert, "Jour de Juin," Les Songes en Equilibre. Les Editions de l'Arbre, Montreal, 1942, p. 11. 11. Ibid., p. 13. 12. "Jardin de Fievre," Les Songes en Equilibre, p. 69. 13. Hebert, "Un Mur a Peine," Poemes. p. 38. 14. Gilles Marcotte, "'Le Tombeau des Rois'd'Anne Hebert," Une Litterature Qui Se Fait. Les Editions HMH, Montreal, 1962, p. 274. 15. Ibid., p. 276. 16. Gatien Lapointe, "Parier C'est Garder Espoir," Le Temps Premier. Jean Grassin Editeur, Paris, 1962, p. 14. 17. Gatien Lapointe, "Ode au Saint-Laurent," Ode au Saint-Laurent. Les Editions du Jour, Montreal, 1963, p. 85. 18. "Inevitable Terre," Le Temps Premier, p. 7. 19. "Solitude," Ibid., p. 11. 20. "L1Ombre de la Lumiere," Ibid., p. 28. 21. "Ode au Saint-Laurent," Ode au Saint-Laurent, p. 85. 22. "Le Premier Matin," Ibid.. p. 13. 23. "Presence au Monde," Ibid.. p. 50. 24. "Entre Ciel et Terre," Ibid., p. 21. 25. "D'Une Rive a 1'Autre," Ibid., p. 37. 26. "Les Sabliers du Temps," Ibid., p. 41. 27. "Ode au Saint Laurent," Ibid. , p. 72. 28. "Le Chevalier de Neige, Ibid., p. 62. 29. Fernand Ouellette, "50 Megatonnes," Le Soleil Sous la Mort, Editions de l'Hexagone, Montreal, 1965, p. 32. 30. "M^moire," Ibid., p. 42. 31. "Et Nous Aimions," Ibid.. p. 9. 32. Ibid., p. 10. 33. "Vers Nous," Le Soleil Sous la Mort. p. 23. 34. "Le Mai de la Paix," Ibid., p. 29. 35. Fernand Ouellette, "Quatuor Climatise*," Sequences de  1'Aile, Les Editions de l'Hexagone, Montreal, 1958, pp. 48-49. 36. "Radiographic du Jour," Ibid., p. 41. 37. Paul Chamberland, "Le Poeme sans Image," Terre Quebec. Librairie Deom, Montreal, 1964, p. 61. 38. Guy Robert, "Paul Chamberland," Litterature du Quebec. Librairie Deom, Montreal, 1964, p. 287. 39. "Domaine de l'Aveugle III," Terre Quebec, p. 66. 40. Paul Chamberland, "Trois 'Durdes Inedites,1"' Livres et  Auteurs Canadiens. (1964), p. 46. 41. Guy Robert, "Paul Chamberland," Litterature- du Quebec. Deom, Montreal, p. 289. 23 42. "Deuil 4 juin 1963," Terre Quebec, p. 32. 43. Paul Chamberland, L'Afficheur Hurle. Editions Parti Pris, Montreal, 1964, p. 11. 44. Ibid., p. 13. 45. Ibid., p. 21. 46. "Le Temps de la Haine," Terre Quebec, p. 35. 47. L'Afficheur Hurle. p. 56. i CHAPTER II ATTITUDES Alain Grandbois1 poetry has been said to express a vigorous liberty and the poet, in spite of the fateful forces which repress him, has been said to stand up to defy his destiny and even wager to win against it. Several of his poems are characterized by optimism and challenge. In "Le Prix de Don" for example, there is glad freedom and victor ious cheerfulness. In it, Grandbois has surmounted his human condition and has climbed up into the clear, open sky above the forbidden glaciers where he at last breathes deeply and without restraint. The desired "delivery of the day" and the time of the perfect absolute are imminent. There will be no more night and all the days, forever after, will be united into one unending and joyous day of light and sun. Je respire L'allegresse s'empare de moi J'habite aux sommets Des ^.glaciers interdits Et l'aube frafche C'est le matin prochain Tous les jours seront reunis^ Grandbois does not withdraw but, part of the pulsating reality about him, he is perceptive and responsive to life. He associates himself with the rustle and the vitality of the leaves in the poplars and with the steamer, its siren shrieking proudly as it departs for new coasts and the freedom of the open sea. He is sure of himself. He brims with a tough confidence and proudly affirms that he is very much alive ("Je suis vivant.")^ The last stanza of the poem records a different attitude however. Jolted back to the reality of death and the passing of all things, the poet explains his recent optimism as temporary. His is and will remain a "shipwrecked" heart, tragically enlightened in the ways of life. Ah belles feuilles mortes Allees solitaires bois de"pouilles Les coeurs naufrage"s Parfois remontent a la surface3 In "Amour," the poet is tensely defiant and in a triple dare he challenges a bullet to reach his heart, spill all his blood and destroy both himself and his loved one. But in the very next stanza, the defiance becomes a fearful hesitancy and a doubt in his own strength as Grandbois envisions an approaching storm which will sweep the two lovers away, like so many fragments of dust, to their deaths. The poet is, in his own eyes, already moribund. Mais sous l'arbre fremissant De 1'approche des noirs cyclones Devant ces durs oceans Battant leurs vagues follement folles Nos peches meles a nos doigts humilies Prisonnier des mensonges perdus L1ombre nous avalant comme une poussiere Avais-je la force De te garder dans mes bras Comme un avare moribond son tr^sor^ 26 The optimism is occasional and short-lived as the two preceding examples have illustrated and it is despair and resignation, not hope and struggle, which are the dominant tones of Grandboisien poetry. Grandbois is tragically aware of and reconciled to the utter hopelessness of the human condition. He has desired a true possession of time and a real assertion of himself in each glad moment of his life. He has strived to capture the pleasurable seconds. He has wanted to make them eternal and himself eternal within them. But he knows that the instant cannot be retained and that it moves quickly away and so does each succeeding to be cherished moment until there is nothing left of them but memories and life is gone and one is old and soon to die. For Grandbois, childhood and its naive outlook on the world is lost forever. Gone is the child's faith in wonders, gone is his comfortable "oneness" with a kindly universe and his marvelous infant-knowledge of the secrets of the stars. The poet requests a return to this time of spiritual buoyancy and innocence and he asks for the child's wonderstruck and candid attitude towards life, ("Je veux un oeil e'merveille',")3 but all along he is aware that he may never go back to that glorious epoch when all was possible and the deadly truths of the world were not known to him. The poet has even lost faith in his anticipated "absolute." He realizes that the ardently wished for "tomorrows of gold" are but supreme illusion and he damns his quest for \ them. He terminates his search, fully aware that on the bright other side of the sun, in the dream absolute he sought so long, there will be no release of the mortal captives of this existence. All the promises have proved deceit. He is remarkably resigned to the fact of his death and he almost welcomes its impending approach. There is an alarming tone of passive and stoic acceptance in the state ment , II y aura demain mon eternelle nuit La dure et seule nudite de mes os Ma surdite mes yeux aveugles Les lies de mes archipels Seront profondement englouties° "En vain" is a frequent leitmotive in Grandbois' poetry. He realizes that all struggle is futile and that he can never win against his inevitable future eternal silence and death. He is all too ready to accept defeat. He will not make the necessary movements of self-liberation but, unbudging and accepting the failure of everything he attempts, he will remain passive and quiet. "Je demeurerai muet et paralyse"."7 He withdraws into a shadowy self, reveling with an almost masochistic pleasure in his own anguish to which he willingly succumbs. Qu'une nuit sans fin deroule sur moi ses voiles de plomb 28 Je ne veux plus qu'enfoncer ma nuque et mes doigts dans ce delire Ou vellle le froid brulant de la derniere solitude8 He is devoted faithfully and religiously to his distressed solitude and he discovers, in the night of his discourage ment, a strange sweetness and comfort. Et j'egrenais ma solitude comme la devote son rosaire9 Et la pluie m'enveloppait comme un doux manteau La nuit et la pluie me couvraient comme de tendres vetementslO Demoralized, he flounders in self-pity. The little he wished for in life is denied him. Je ne demandais pourtant qu'un peu de jour et de quietude Je ne demandais qu'un oeil et qu'un reflet d'epaule Je ne demandais que ma part d'homme assoiffe de lambeauxll Before he has lived at all, he is overcome by old age and death. Je n'ai rien vu Je n'ai rien goute Je n'ai rien souffert Et soudain l'age bondit sur moi comme une panthere noirel2 29 In the slender volume Mystere de la Parole are found the only elements of optimism and spiritual vivaciousness in the whole of the poetic work of Anne Hebert. In its poems there Is strength and the assurance and authority of one who has finally dominated all things. The world the poet describes in "Naissance du Pain," where all is maturing, bubbling, moving, rich, sparkling and boisterous, mirrors her own enthusiasms and the overflowing of life and vigor that is within her. Le chaume cru creve la campagne, la vie souterraine laisse percer sa chevelure verte. Le ventre de la terre decouvre ses fleurs et ses fruits au grand soleil de midi. L'azur poudroie comme une poussiere d'eau; nos mains peintes au ras du champ deviennent pareilles a de grands pavots clairs. Toute forme et couleur provoquees montent de la terre telles une respiration visible et rythmee. Le champ palpite et moutonne, toison blanchissante sous 1'eclat strident de l'e'te' aux cigales acides.13 In "Survienne la Rose des Vents" there is a call to action and to victory over miserable solitude and self-pity. When all seems beyond hope and when deceptions and depressions have handicapped the soul, the wind with its wild and stimu lating flavor of high seas and adventurous freedoms comes like a vehement prophet to scold, to whip, and to invite the poet away from her closed room. The cheerfulness of Mystere de la Parole might mark the final and definitive stage in a mental evolution from sad melancholy to optimism but generally speaking most of the poetry of Anne Hubert, as found in Le Tombeau des Rois and Les Songes en Equilibre. reflects the same disillusion and defeat as regards the human predicament as the poetry of Alain Grandbois. She understands, like Grandbois, that time takes all the beauty with it, leaving poets and men with nothing. The summer day in "Jour de Juin," with its precious full minutes of flowers, wind, light and azur, does not stay long enough in her room for her to hold and caress it. Gracious realities are ephemeral and the poet is forever denied possession of them. Dans la chambre, le jour, Comme ce chat, Jamais ne dure assez Pour qu'on puisse le caresser.1^ In "Instant," by means of the abrupt lines and the shortness of the poem itself, the poet shows that pleasing experiences, such as the joy engendered in the observer by the sight of a tree in the morning and a child beneath it, singing, are momentary and that all that composes such splendid visions is in constant danger of disruption and dispersion. The grace of it all is poised precariously 31 .within the moment. La rue paisible, Le vert transparent Des feuilles, L1inflexion Des bouleaux Et 1'e*lancement Des branches; Un enfant Qui chante, Un homme qui passe; Tout le tendre Et doux matin: Cet air trahquille Et arrete, Cette grace Posee Dans l'instant.15 The little nymphs which represent the poet's childhood in "Oh Mes Joies Enfantines" danced too near the river's edge and disappeared and all that is left of them are rings on the water's surface. Their very existence is discredited by the grey and dry old professor who explains the lingering circles as geometry. The poet is obsessed with suffocating death: Ces menuets effaces Ces mains perdues, Ces pas qu'on cherche. . Hoping to establish something that will remain, Anne Hebert builds a dream world. But this world of reverie exists in a precarious equilibrium. The dreams are unstable and quick to vanish. "Une force irrepressible empeche le songe de se fixer, de se figer, de se cristalliser. In the poem "Jour de Juin," all the fairy-tale—of cats, little girls in brightly checked dresses, and yellow sheafs of wheat—is apparition and quickly melted. Et le songe en equilibre Est tout desarticule . . . De tout cet artifice Patiemment edifie, II n'est plus que des debris . . .18 The poet is depressed, considering these disappointments of time, childhood, death and make-believe. However, she does not wish to overcome this melancholy but adopts a very complaisant attitude towards it. So well acquainted with and faithful to her sadness, which has been with her so long, she makes no attempt to eradicate it. Speaking of her "douleur," she says Que ne puis-je la faire sortirl Mais qui rempli rait Alors le vide de sa presence Dedans moi? Le plaisir y serait mai a l'aise, Et moi aussi avec lui, Depuis le temps qu'on se connait Ma douleur et moi . . .19 Lost and defeated, she flounders about in her despair in "Sous la Pluie." Her soul-weariness and her inability to escape the dull sequence of her days is reflected in the thudding and monotonous repetition of certain words and phrases in the poem, such as "sous la pluie/sous la brume" and "perdu."20 Her heart, faithless and listless and without fire and spirit, is one and the same with the foggy and vacant rainfilled landscape about her. Her personal emptiness and her spiritual grayness and indecisiveness match the mist-covered and indistinguishable environment in which she stumbles: En vain dans mon coeur Je guette. II ne passe rien, Rien que la pluie, Que la brume.21 In "Un Mur a Peine," the poet's fingers, like the uppermost branches of the birch tree, seem to be extended, apparently grasping for a piece of sky and a way out of their humble and restricted terrestrial state. But this act of grabbing is purely mechanical and without any desire and, not really wanting to find her liberation, the poet is prepared to remain fixed in her inertia. Life flows, in "Mort," from her weary and passive arms but there is no attempt made to retain it. The sun and life flow from between powerless, tired and unmotivated fingers, spread apart to facilitate the passage. La vie coule De mes bras Las; Le soleil s'ecoule On ne sait ou, Entre mes doigts ecartes, II luit Et fuit Par ces petites portes ouvertes Que font mes doigts las.22 34 Hebert is linked in unbreakable and devoted wedlock to a future death. Seule ma fidelite me lie. 0 liens durs Que j'ai noues En je ne sais quelle nuit secrete Avec la mort123 Very resigned to her mortality, she sees herself as already dead in a verse of "La Chambre de Bois" where she is like a dead root or a clump of earth. "Je suis nue et toute noire sous un arbre amer."24 jn "La Fille Maigre," the proud attention that she lavishes upon her bones, preparing them so that they will be attractive in their final resting place, just as one would polish up medals for an exhibit, betrays an attitude of calm acceptance of the grave, and death. She is peacefully reconciled and, in a direct and straightforward manner untinged even with sentiments of regret, she affirms that under her flesh she is a skeleton and very mortal. Je suis une fille maigre Et j'ai de beaux os. J'ai pour eux des soins attentifs Et d'etranges pities Je les polls sans cesse Comme de vieux me"taux.25 There is a strange submission in the poem "Le Tombeau des Rois," as the poet, like a sacrificial victim, yields to death. Et ma chair qui tremble: Offrande rituelle et soumise.26 35 Gatien Lapointe's verse is defiantly optimistic and the expression of a fighting philosophy in spite of occasional spiritual blacknesses and the frights he feels for fragile men. Evident in it is his own determined hope as well as a profound faith in all men's ability to surmount their human situation. "La poesie c'est d'abord pour moi un homme condamne a mourir et qui dit MON."27 Lapointe is confident that, if man only acts, if he opposes to the forces of his destiny which plague him a work or a created thing, if he struggles against all odds as if he will gain everything, he will one day transcend all that constricts him. There are images throughout Lapointe's poetry of a glorious people triumphing and establishing on this earth a dignity of men. And these human renaissances are generally associated with combustion, crackling flames, and glowing yellow, red, and orange lights. Et l'homme est un soleil qui grand!t dans la terre2^ Je vois l'homme jetant sur la nuit sa rouge aurore2^ L'homme, Cette flamme debout Dans le vent,30 There is a vision of man liberated from death, time, and mortal mediocrity and anonymity, present in a day of victory and in a miraculous world of an eternal present, a world of 36 white and yellow brilliance, of sun and of an enveloping and' fraternal nature with its birds, rivers and abundant green ness. And this "premier jour," or "temps premier," is not just a dream but a possibility. Sometimes it is very close at hand: Et confiant le soleil marche tout pres des hommes, Presque parmi eux; Reve avec eux d'un jour fraternel.31 Sometimes it is beginning: Un monde nouveau commence a. ma droite32 In other verses, it has already come true: 0'etait un pur matin dans l'oeil des betes Et parler ouvrait a l'homme une eternite.33 With regard to the poet himself, he is at times anguished and even resigned to his own private destiny of mortal man. Je suis sous terre Et le chanvre de l'air pese sur mon visage Qui fendra mes yeux qui fendra ma bouche Pour que monte l'arbre de printemps pur Les racines etouffent mon visage Je suis sous terre J'emprunte aux saisons le nom de ma douleur.3^ But the tendency to fight and challenge, to create himself and his own destiny, in defiance to the gods, is much greater than 37 the tendency to flounder. With Lapointe there is no weakness and no crumbling of the self, but instead determination, strength, and rigidity of spirit. Optimism and hope are the major sentiments of his poetry. He affronts and refuses the destiny which is being prepared for him. Ma chair se rassemble comme un defi!.35 J'abolirai la mort je vivrai k tout prix. 36 He moulds himself, orders and constructs his world, and affirms and situates himself in time and space. Et j'ai dessein d'organiser Ordonner afin de ne pas mourir37 J'affirme un grand besoin d'etre et d'aimer^® The poet is born again from his wounds and his misfortunes rather than destroyed by them and he is strengthened by all that chains and binds him. "Je nais de mes propres blessures." By writing, he can cry "no" to his fate. By means of words he can construct a new and finer reality and establish himself within it. A chaque instant mot a mot Je construis mon univers Je prends racine dans une pr^sence^ There is no futile obsession with the past but rather a 38 concern with all the possibilities of the present and the future. He does not withdraw from reality but, accepting the risks, plunges into life and all its danger because each day and each moment bring opportunities and the promise of his salvation. "J'ai choisi de vivre dans 1'instant—avec danger. 41 avec passion;" As opposed to the earlier poets for whom life was often a frustrating and cruel condemnation, for Lapointe, just to be alive, in spite of the occasional hurt and unhappiness, is a joy and a victory. He fervently accepts all the bitterness and all the marvel of life and he speaks of the "Douce de'chirante merveille d'etre."^-2 His optimism is irrepressible and he sees that all is before him and yet to be accomplished. Ignoring the rest—the sorrows and the restrictions of men—all he knows is that which he imagines and hopes for. Vivre c'est aller vers plus de lumiere Et je ne sais que ce que j 1 imagine .4-3 44 Je ne peux pas m'empecher d'espe'rer At times it appears that he has discovered the eternal present (much sought but never found by Alain Grandbois and Anne Hebert) in all its green and luscious perfection, uncontaminated by time and death. On me nomme en un present infini2^ He still retains the candor and the magic of childhood, lost forever to the elder generation poets, and its positive and hopeful attitude has never left him. Je garderai les yeux de mon enfance^ Je reconnais ma parole d'enfant^? Chaque aube me reveille au bord de mon enfance Un air de printemps me met sur la route Et la montagne monte au rythme de mon pied^o Childhood is a weapon, a lamp and refuge in his adulthood. Enfance 6 lampe souveraine^"9 Mon enfance est une epee vive5° Enfance, o falaise ou je m'agrippe!51 Death is a major consideration in the poetry of Fernand Ouellette. The poet describes the terrified quaking of the human body when life, too "blonde" and too carefree, stumbles inevitably against the hardness and the somberness of death. He refers to the "night dust," the seeds of black death which seep into men's eyes, covering and choking all the life glitter within them. But Ouellette sees that suffering and mortality can be overcome. Indeed, Ouellette is almost constantly optimistic and he never ceases to see "le soleil sous la mort." In the 40 poem, "Audience au Plein de 1'Espace," death hangs over the poet like a heavy black umbrella and yet, in spite of its menace, he continues to listen to the thrush and its song of life and birth. Sous la mort en parasol, j'ecoute le rite penetrant de la grive. Le frais dessin d'un rythme de naissance qui m'allege.52 Ouellette cannot contain his own happy hope. He is positive that the death which grips him can be cast off and he exclaims: Force du solell me brule de sevel Et depuis les chevilles brise ma mort 153 He talks of personal conquest: Et lorsque de l'arbre surgit ma parole de conquete, la fonte frafche du soleil gran-dissait le ble.54 His poetry speaks of men, who, like conquering heroes, transcend their humble earthliness and advance continuously and unhesitatingly in a triumphant walk towards the sun, liberty, and life. Self-pity, frustration and spiritual collapse, brought on by a sad realization of the human condition, are unknown to them and they affirm a stubborn will to live. In "Et Nous Aimions," there is a resplendent image of mankind with all the madness and fury of fiery spirit in its flesh, ascending into a rich, bright, and glowing white space. Man is speaking, crying, commanding and ordering and there is talk of "borning" and of living joyfully and fully. Ainsi nous parlions avec une voix en naissance qui hurle. Ainsi le delire des feux dans la chair. Et nous avancions dans le blanc, et nous vivions de vie, et nous aimions.55 In "Geologic" man rises so high above the world of mortal men that he soon finds himself beyond the sun itself. In a glorious line, the poet describes the victory of ascended man. Le soleil se hissait a 1'homme.^6 In "Epopees" there is a vision, which, because of its surrealistic and ethereal qualities, brings to mind the paintings of Marc Chagall. Human forms float high in space in a dizzying and happy whirl of soaring birds and beating wings, flashes of brilliant light and color, and clusters of stars. Quand les poitrines bolides de par l'espace relient cent villes d'e*toile. Car du granit tranche par feu, les dynas ties d'oiseaux comme une foire d'eclairs abondante retrouvent le monde. 42 Epopees de haut vertigel Et se prolonge d'espoir en espoir la pure chronique de l'aile. 57 "Hors du Soleil" portrays man, very much alive, marching determinedly across a landscape and pulling from it the bones of death in order to let the vital green show through again. He removes the traces of the grave from his environment and both he and the earth are renewed, rewarmed, rekindled and reinspired with life, light and warmth. Les vivants se mettent en marche arrachant les os des paysages. Et le Word apaise sa violence vive. La chaleur glisse lente comme une femme glisse hors du soleil.5o The possibility of the miracle is always present in Ouellette1s poetic vision. There is a thwarting of death and even a resurrection in "Etincelle." There is the spectacle of human bodies, like tight petals which swell and finally explode into blossom, breaking open and blooming in fantastic countries where the sun never sets. Eclosion de corps-petales et de pays solaires. Invasion de l'oeil sur le monde. Qu'ils respirent les vieux ensevelis qui reviennent parmi les naissants.59 43 "Langue de l'Aile" reports "la forte in/vasion de l'air sur la mort,and describes a race of giant men who are strong, proud, confident and free: Car 1'atterrissage d'un ciel a. nos levres se prepare. Et sur terre, par un air de guitare, nos ar teres prolongent les gratte-ciel, Nos alphabets murissent sur des toits qui montent.°l "Vers Nous" indicates a violent and determined urgency. The poet is certain that men are close to reinventing them selves and that, with stars in their hands like grenades, they may crush the memory of all that they were before (death-bound) and accomplish and arrive at their desired image of themselves. There is also a vision of a new and eternal world--all greenness, vegetable wealth, flowering and love. Vers nous venons avec des etoiles aux mains comme des grenades. Terrassons notre m^moire! Et se levent des images grandes ouvertes, jusqu'a l'herbe et 1 amour162 Paul Chamberland's poetry is characterized by optimistic visions of a revolting and defiant Quebec and by the determined hope of the revolutionary poet himself who realizes that he must rise above his personal melancholies because, as spokesman for 44 the rights of his fellow French Canadians as well as for all men, he has a role to play and a job to accomplish. There are times when Chamberland does not seem to envision anything for Quebec. He exclaims that his "pays" is dying and that never will the foundations be laid for the much desired "living space" and the sovereign state. All his people's projects are aborted in their beginnings. au temps nul de naftre jamais de mourir toujours -- tout lieu se derobe a fonder le pays 1'espace de vivre— quelles mains viennent palper nos fronts barres°3 But generally his verse is visionary and promises much. Throughout, the lines are crowded with images of a revolt which will produce an independent and proud Quebec. Certainly, there are images of night, blackness, padlocks, cold, and suffo cation. But with them are the liberation images of daylight, fire and blood. Indeed, the frequent symbol of free-flowing blood is an important one in Chamberland's poetry and represents the angry and frenzied revolt of Quebecers shut up too long in the night of their submission. The poet mentions, for example, "le jour humain du sang."^ Chamberland talks of an undaunted people who struggle and protest. He explains their first "strides" in the reconquest of their dignity. He describes the "visage du feu"^^ which will break open the barricaded doors of their nights and bite into and melt the mooring ropes of repression. He imagines the splashing of blood, padlocked too long, on the pavement. In "Les Nuits Armees," the time of the "matins 45 soldats"66 has arrived and the poet's brothers, their cries reverberating in his nerve cells and their footsteps drumming over his vertebrae, are marching, armed, hot-tempered and militant in quest of their day and their release from bondage. They are confident that they can wrench from the "hundred nights" their "TERRE QUEBEC." The ferocity of a people is depicted in "Deull 4 Juin 1963." There is the violent sound of insurrection—throbbing, hammering, smashing, heaving, thundering, exploding and blasting as well as a description of the tools of destruction and rebuilding—anvils, powder, canons, bombs, clashing metals and forges. In "Poeme de l'Anterevo-lution I," Chamberland's countrymen, endowed with a fiery and superhuman power, direct and participate in a world-wide upheaval which springs from theirs. nous serons de nos armes de ce temps des Christ rouges qui vendangent les rois et tirent des prisons des nations -bla-sonndes aux couleurs de l'enclume67 At one point in Terre Quebec. Chamberland is so transported by his optimism that he speaks as though the political and social metamorphosis has already been wrought. He describes an entire people, finally liberated and radiant, who have abolished death, cold, and oppression and who now possess their land. Secure within their reacquired state, they are surrounded by wheat and warmth, laden tables, and black, rich soils. Summer rings loudly and gleefully in their very marrow. 46 il nous fallait ces oris d1avril tous ces miroirs en feu aux levres du ciel dmigre sur nos toits pour forcer l'hiver et la mort jusqu'au plus obscur de nos os pour y raviver l'etincelle aux reins de tout un peuple enfin radiant l'espace de chemins guerriers ah ble chaleur et table epaisse rituel des sols noirs et gras tout le ciel d'un jet dans nos labours ah la danseuse incendiaire au long du fleuve arteriel notre corps notre ete" retenti jusque dans la moelle l'espace notre patrimoine sous les quatre epees du vent et les forets les banquises les gulf-stream cinglant l'horizon de nos semailles68 Concerned also with all of mankind, Chamberland fears that it might erase itself in the sweat of meaningless and futile labor and in the fury of war. But doubt becomes hope and the poet visualizes man, fresh, free, and cleansed of the memory of all he was before, recommencing his story on the white page of morning. He reaffirms his presence in the world and in life. il avait invente contre sa mort les paysages de la force il cimentait de salive l'ossature des montagnes il imposait aux eaux la forme innombrable de son corps la lune remontait le cours de ses arteres fleur cadencee du plaisir il avait femme dans l'espace a. toutes defalliances de la nuit et l'hirondelle perpetuait le long cri acere de ses bras jusqu'au seuil du feu°9 Because of the distress he feels so strongly for his Quebec, the poet often sinks helplessly into a state of profound unhappiness, spiritual blackout, and even, at times, self-pity because he belongs to the wretched subject race of. French Canadians. He cries out that, poor in both his name and his life, he knows no longer what to do or where to go on this earth. He is guilty, like Grandbois, of resigning himself too readily to his melancholy and of glorying in his victim's role. Motionless, apathetic, and strangely content, he confesses: immobile j'adore 1'Interdiction70 But, unlike Alain Grandbois and Anne Hebert, this weakness is only a temporary condition and it does not characterize Chamberland's general attitude. The desire to transcend his misery is much stronger. When he is at his lowest he will suddenly scream out that what he is—a human being and a French Canadian—he will defend and protect, at all costs. He realizes that he cannot remain entangled forever in his frus trations since, as a poet of Quebec, he has a role to indicate the way (he calls himself a "lampe"), provoke "L'Evenement" and "La Chose,"71 and bring the day and the light to his people. j'intente aux nuits fermees la cesure du jour72 He is very much alive, active, and energetic for his Quebec. je vis je suis sobre et vivant j'ai tout mon sang pour mon pays et ma vigueur pour l'y ensourcer libre et dru73 He becomes giant-like, fearfully avenging and even slightly rabid in his determination to fight the oppressors of all men. His challenges are bold. He says that in speaking, he "tears," and that his words and his glances have the strength of claws. So big is his appetite for the tormenters of others, that he would not hesitate to guzzle greedily all the established and crowned people, all the murderers of children, and all the extinguishers of sky and sun. He will crucify, he says, all the violators of the temple of life. In a section of l'Afflcheur Hurle. he erupts in a feverish condemnation of the callous masters of the humble. aux acquereurs aux financiers aux putassiers aux cabotins aux mangeurs d'hommes aux honnetes hommes aux croa croa aux pilleurs d'ames aux negrophages aux negriers de peuples aux lanceurs de missiles aux monnayeurs de sueurs humaines aux gardes-chiourme de la vie je dis: vous ne l'emporterez pas en paradis nous aurons votre peau je dis: MERDE74 CHAPTER II. FOOTNOTES 1. Alain Grandbois, "Le Prix du Don," Poemes, Editions de l'Hexagone, Montreal, 1963, pp. 176-177. 2. Ibid.. p. 174. 3. Ibid., p. 177. 4. "Amour," Poemes, p. 219. 5. "La Route Secrete," Ibid., p. 108. 6. "Demain Seulement," Ibid., p. 125. 7. "Ce Qui Me Vient...", Ibid., p. 51. 8. "Le Feu Gris..."., Ibid., p. 29. 9. "Ah Toutes Ces Rues...", Ibid., p. 77. 10. Ibid., p. 75. 11. "Le Feu Gris...", Poemes. p. 27. 12. "Demain Seulement," Ibid.... pp. 126-127. 13. Anne Hebert, "Naissance de Pain," Poemes, Editions de Seuil, Paris, i960, p. 77. 14. Anne Hebert, "Jour de Juin," Les Songes en Equilibre. Les Editions de l'Arbre, Montreal, 1942,' p. 14. 15. "Instant," Ibid., p. 33. 16. "Danse," Ibid., p. 31. 17. Guy Robert, "Equilibre et Dynamisme du Songe," La Poe"tlque  du Sbnge. A.G.E.U.M., 1962, p. 44. 18. "Jour de Juin," Les Songes en Equilibre. p. 13. 19. "Minuit," Ibid., p. 71. 20. "Sous la Pluie," Ibid., p. 23. 21. Ibid., p. 24. 22. "Mort," Les Songes en Equilibre. p. 79. 50 23. "Un Mur a Peine," Poemes. p. 37. 24. "La Chambre de Bois," Ibid., p. 43. 25. "La Fille Maigre," Ibid., p. 33-26. "Le Tombeau des Rois," Ibid., p. 60. 27. Gatien Lapointe, "Le Pari de ne pas Mourir," Le Premier  Mot. Les Editions du Jour, Montreal, 1967, p. 9. 28. Gatien Lapointe, "Inevitable Terre," Le Temps Premier. Jean Grassin Editeur, Paris, 1962, p. 7. 29. Gatien Lapointe, "Ode au Saint-Laurent," Ode au Saint-Laurent, Les Editions du Jour, Montreal, 1963, p. 85. 30. Le Premier Mot, p. 92. 31. Ibid., p. 48. 32. "J'Appartiens a la Terre," Ode au Saint-Laurent, p. 44. 33. "Du Sol a. la Premiere Branche," Ibid. , p. 23-34. "L'Arbre de Printemps," Le Temps Premier, p. 15. 35. Le Premier Mot, p. 24. 36. "Presence au Monde," Ode au Saint-Laurent, p. 50. 37. "Ode au Saint-Laurent," Ibid., p. 81. 38. Ibid.. p. 87. 39. "Du Sol a la Premiere Branche," Ode au Saint-Laurent, p. 23 40. "Parier C'est Garder l'Espoir," Le Temps Premier, p. 14. 41. Guy Robert, "Gatien Lapointe," Litterature du Quebec, Librairie Deom, Montreal, 1964, p. 207. 42. "Presence au Monde," Ode au Saint-Laurent, p. 49. 43. "II Suffit d'un Visage," Le Temps Premier, p. 19. 44. "Du Sol a la Premiere Branche," Ode au Saint-Laurent. P. 25. 45. "Ode au Saint-Laurent," Ibid.. p. 86. 46. "Soleil Quotidien," Ibid., p. 31. 47. "Les Sabliers du Temps, Ibid., p. 43. 48. "Ode au Saint-Laurent," Ibid., p. 71. 49. "Seul le Desir," Le Temps Premier, p. 22. 50. "L'Instant et l'Annee," Ode au Saint-Laurent, p. 15. 51. Le Premier Mot, p. 91. 52. Fernand Ouellette, "Audience au Plein de l'Espace," Sequences de l'Aile. Les Editions de l'Hexagone, Montreal, 1958, p. 15. 53. Fernand Ouellette, "Printemps," Le Soleil Sous la Mort, Editions de l'Hexagone, Montreal, 1965, P.. 52. 54. "Orage de Profil," Sequences de l'Aile, p. 12. 55. "Et Nous Aimions," Le Soleil Sous la Mort. p. 12. 56. "Geologie," Ibid., p. 26. 57. "Epopees," Sequences de l'Aile. p. 13. 58. "Hors du Soleil," Le Soleil Sous la Mort. p. 18. 59. "Etincelle," Ibid., p. 58. 60. "Langue de l'Aile," Sequences de l'Aile. p. 17. 61. Ibid., pp. 17-18. 62. "Vers Nous," Le Soleil Sous la Mort. p. 24. 63. Paul Chamberland, "Les Nuits Armees," Terre Quebec, Librairie Deom, Montreal, 1964, p. 16. 64. Ibid., p. 13. 65. "Poeme de 1'Anterevolution I," Terre Quebec, p. 39. 66. "Les Nuits Armees," Ibid., p. 12. 67. "Poeme de 1'Anterevolution I, Ibid., p. 39. 68. "Les Nuits Armees," Ibid., p. 19. 69. "Traces de l'Obscur," Ibid., p. 75. 70. Paul Chamberland, L'Afficheur Hurle, Editions Parti Pris, Montreal, 1964, p. 24. 71. Guy Robert, "Paul Chamberland," Litterature du Quebec. Librairie Deom, Montreal, 1964, p. 288. 72. "Les Nuits Armees," Terre Quebec, p. 12. 73. "Poeme de 11Anterevolution II, Ibid., p. 41. 74. L'Afficheur Hurle, p. 65. CHAPTER III NATURE In Alain Grandbois' poetry the nature in which men and the poet live is immense and infinite. One cannot define its extremities for it has none and its elements of skies, atmospheres, deserts, plains, galaxies, and seas are boundless. "La mer baigne tout mon horizon/La mer est illimitee."1 This cosmic spaciousness is troubled and angry. It is in an almost constant state of upheaval and terrifying turmoil. Its components are unstable and the "eternal" natural laws which once governed them have been revoked. Mammoth rivers overflow their banks, red-hot hells are unleashed and blaze from above, planets are toppled out of their orbits and volcanoes jump and roar. Inhumanly vast and empty spaces are shrouded in perpetual blackness and great winds, originating at the poles, whirl across them. Les lois eternelles Galopaient comme des chevaux fous Les nuits tombaient l'une sur l'autre Nous avions les yeux brules2 Ce feu qui brule d'en haut Crachant sa flamme pour une plus pure destruction Ces fleuves de"bordant de volcans en sursaut Ces typhons tournoyant avec une vitesse foudroyante? Des ecumes tenebreuses refoulaient un fleuve demesure vers des espaces grouillant de mondes descelles^ Man has no place within this disrupted universe. His fragility, his defenselessness, and the utter futility of all his attempts to create for himself something finer and sweeter are illustrated by contrasting him with the terrible vastness and destruction which are all around him. What chances have the poet and men, among all these cyclones of misfortune and these unhinged hells, of establishing and maintaining anything of value? Ah si nos faibles doigts Parmi ces cyclones de malheur Parmi ces enfers dechaines et ces astres perdus Parmi cette ombre suspendue aux profondeurs de la mer Cherchent avec une veritable humilite Des tendresses pareilles a. des lampes voilees5 The weakness, nakedness, and solitude of man and the poet are continually emphasized. et moi sous mes seuls cheveux^ . . . nos tendres doigts. . . .7 6 faiblesse des doigts^ Nos mains tremblantes . . .9 . . . brouillards de mes mains10 55 Je suis seul et nu Je suis seul et sel Je flotte a. la derive sur la merxl In this rampaging world man is but an appearance and a rapidly passing phenomenon. 0 tourments plus forts de n'etre qu'une seule apparence^2 Nature scorns, tricks, and menaces man. As an alien and as a superfluous and unwelcome element in the scheme of things, man is victimized by a capricious and calculating environment which does all it can to reject and eliminate him. The nature within which he moves, assuming human attributes, can be cruelly cold and unfeeling and insensitive like granite. Disdainful, it almost appears to laugh at his cries and at his quest for a way out of his hell of mortal man. et ce grand rire de pierre inattaquable^? Uninvolved in the poet's suffering, it seems to ignore the murmur of his spilled blood. Le ciel de ma blessure Repousse le murmure De la duree de mon sangl^ Grandbois' universe is subversive and treacherous and not to be trusted. It deludes men with occasional false appearances of security and comfort. In the poem "Pris et Protege . . . ," the poet tells of his attraction to the sea, and how, seduced by the sleek swelling of its surface, he is taken, embraced, and protected by it. But the protection is deceit, the innocent waves hide untold dangers and may at any moment be whipped into frenzied storm. The poet, believing himself safe, is all the time condemned. Pris et protege" et condamne" par la mer Je flotte au creux des houlesl5 Grandbois has discovered that the shelter his surroundings offer is but illusion and that all is a trap which has been carefully prepared for him. Ces murs protecteurs et ce plafond fraternel et ces trous d1ombre et cette grande ombre et ce plancher de ferl6 Man is hemmed in and weighed down upon by nature. Breathing heavily about him, it threatens to engulf him. Les colonnes du ciel pressent mes epaules Les poids des profondeurs frissonnent sous moll7 There was a time, however, when the world was less awesome and much more green and friendly. It was closer and more familiar and the poet then was in harmony with it. He blended into its peaceful freshness. He could smell the green odor of the wind, hear the delicate "brushing" of summer days 57 in the trees, and watch each morning rise from the sea to fall again into the soft blueness of new mountains. Verte odeur du vent Frolement des jours Chaque matin montait de la mer Plongeant aux douceurs Des plus neuves montagnes Nous vivions mille fois D'adorables naissances Nous entendions mille fois Ce gemissement musical Tombant tout droit Des astres dormantlS C'etait les jours bienheureux Les jours de claire verdurel9 But now, as an adult, he has come to believe that this past communion with nature was a myth or a tender fairy-tale and that this angry universe in which he now finds himself is the only reality. He fully realizes that the "feuillage d'or"20 never existed. Pierre Chatillon sees Anne Hubert in a sweet and sensuous union with the world about her. According to him, her poetry testifies to a happy love of the universe and to a sense of well-being and ease at belonging rightfully to it. She is one with a warm and friendly nature and her delight at being a legitimate and unthreatened part of it is evident in the lyrical effusions of poems like "Soir," "Le Miroir," and 58 "Terre," of the collection Les Songes en Equilibre. as well as in several poems of Mystere de la Parole. The joy of the poet in contact with this far from inhospitable nature in which she moves is expressed in the verses of "Soir" where she describes exuberantly and affectionately the tree in her street. It seems that she cannot think of enough ways to define it. It is a foliage of lace, a cloud of a foliage, a mass of shifting lights, and an arch of green freshness. There is a sense of kinship and communion with all of nature, represented by the tree, as the poet loses herself easily in the welcoming embrace of its branches. L'on peut se perdre Dans une grande foret: Et voila, moi, Je me suis perdue Dans le feuillage D'un arbre, Dans ma rue. Feuillage De grace irreelle, Lumineux feuillage, Foret Ou j'habite.21 In the poem "Le Miroir," one finds again this idea of a poet-nature fellowship. Her naked feet sink into and mingle with the cold, dew-dampened grass at dawn. Her hair is of one and the same earthly substance with the hay and is warmed, like it, in the fields at noon by the sun. 59 Je peignais mes cheveux Encore chauds de soleil, Comme le foin Dan sle champ, A midi.22 Akin to and in harmony with everything that surrounds her, she has come to believe that she can seize upon, hold close to her, and possess forever, the graces and the natural abundances of this earth—all its suns, stars, wheat fields, warmths, perfumes, green woods and blue waters. She is an Integral part of nature and nature, in its entirety, belongs to her. A l'aube, pieds nus Dans l'herbe froide, J'ai cru que l'herbe Et la rosee etaient a moi. Le soleil qui se levait, Les etoiles qui ne brillaient plus, Et le jour d'avant, Et le jour d'apres, J'ai cru que tout e*tait a moi.23 She is not the victim of a harsh universe, to be mistreated and mishandled by it according to its whims. But like the child with building blocks who can create, in his play, complete worlds after his fancy, she appears to control and organize, even if it be only in her imagination, her own little universe where all to her taste is friendly, warm and filled with radiance. She is excited by her own power for the sun itself is miraculously at her disposal. 60 J'organisais mon jeu, Je disposals du soleil Pour mon jeu; Et le soleil se disposait Pour mon jeu: Tout! tout pour mon jeu!24 The poem "Terre" records Hebert's healthy satisfaction with life and her earthly environment and translates the pleasure it is for her to be alive and participating in all the plenitude of nature. This world is an unspoiled, perfect and very comfortable place. It is even a paradise. Odeurs, Rosee sur les fleurs, Couleurs, Couleurs des eaux; Choses qu'on touche, Choses qu'on respire Et choses qu'on mange. 0 terrestres paradis!25 / In Mystere de la Parole, the poet, whose point of view has moved from "je" to "nous" and "vous," sets out to sing of the "wedding" of man with the earth. The poem "Mystere de la Parole" describes the tight union of man and nature. It also describes man who clings to all his earthly properties (his "avoir")—the alders, ferns, leaves, flowers, grasses and soils that he knows belong to him. Des filches d'odeur nous atteignirent, nous liant a. la terre comme des blessures en des noces excessives 0 saisons, riviere, aulnes et fougeres, feuilles, fleurs, bois mouille", herbes bl'eues, tout notre avoir saigne son parfum, bete odorante a notre flanc26 61 Still in the same poem, man's heartbeat corresponds to the pulsating of the world in the springtime. Les trois coups de la creation du monde sonnerent a nos oreilles, rendus pareils aux battements de notre sang27 Except for Mystere de la Parole, where a mature poet finally emerges from her sad cocoon of despairing solitude to adopt a radically new but authentic and definitive attitude of happy and confident union with the world of men as well as with that of nature, the phenomenon of a blissful association with a generous and inviting natural order belongs to a very distant point somewhere in the poet's childhood. Actually, the adult poet exists in a world which, in all its Grandboisien desolation and darkness is hostile and unfriendly towards her. Thinking of childhood with great regret and nostalgia, Hebert writes the poems "Soir," "Terre," and "Le Miroir" as if she were once again and for a brief moment that little girl who blended with and belonged so happily to nature. However, even the child of these poems is not untouched by doubt as to whether this fellowship with earth is truly possible and can last. For example, in the final stanza of "Terre," after all the excitement of thinking she belongs to terrestrial paradises, the child suddenly begins to dread the shadowy emptiness, the cold, and the loneliness of lunar landscapes 62 where she fears she will soon be trapped and forever dissociated from nature's warmth. De la terre Ou je vois la lune Aux bleus crateres, Je crie: Delivrez mon ame Des paysages lunaires Que le soleil n'atteint plus!28 Transported for a moment by her power, she knows however, before the end of "Terre," that the control she holds over her world is not real but truly the meager "jeu" she feared it was all along. She is returned to the nakedness, impotence and submission of her human condition'. She is very alone and without the comfort of nature let alone any possession or control of it. Pauvre jeu! Pauvre poeme que j'dcris, Clairiere ou j'avais cru Convier tant de tresors exotiques Et d'alentour. Simple miroir Ou je me retrouve Entiere et seule, Sans aucun changement,29 In "Jour de Juin," the child realizes that she is divorced from nature. All that she can seize of summer is the sweet and heart-breaking perfume of earth and she is fated to remain always on the outside of its friendly greenness and magic. La fenetre est grande ouverte. De l'ete l'on n'eprouve Que ce navrant parfum de terre.30 63 Indeed, Anne Hebert has said that her childhood's dream of participating in and possessing the earth was illusion. Insecurity and unhappy alienation best define her position in the natural world. J'etais un enfant depossede du monde. Par le de"cret d'une volonte anterieure a la mienne, je devais renoncer a toute possession en cette vie.31 The poem "Espace" describes a vast and hostile space where the winds sweep all away before them, the seas rumble maliciously and seagulls, their cries grating like pullies, soar above shifting and unstable worlds. At one point in the poem, Hebert is adrift on what appears to be a great ocean. She is insecure and bewildered and unable to discern a shore where she might find shelter, let alone reach. So overcome is she by the vagueness and boundlessness of the expanse on which she floats, she is not even certain whether it be a sky, a wind or a sea. Rien n'entrave le vent; Et le bruit de l'eau, Et le bruit du vent Creusent d'autres mers, Avec chacune sa solitude. Le cri des mouettes, Qui grince comme des poulies, Traverse sur des ailes Ces mondes changeants: Mais pourquoi parler du rivage Et des espoirs qu'on a eus Sur la greve de sable? Puisqu'on est maintenant En pleine mer, A ce point exact, 64 Au milieu de 1'Ocean, Ou toutes les rives sont invisibles, Et qu'on ne sait plus Si l'on vogue sur le ciel, Sur la mer ou le vent,32 "Figure de Proue" depicts a threatening world of gloom and night. Blackness has covered the lights of stars and moons and the most dominant element within it seems to be a harsh wind which scatters the perfumes of invisible leaves. All the sweet things of nature have been overcome by the powers of darkness. II vente. Le vent C'est tout le moment. Le ciel est terne. II semble Vouloir dcraser La terre. Pas d'e*toile, Pas de lune; II n'y a que le vent. Les feullles neuves, On ne les voit pas Dans le noir. II n'y a que le vent, Que disperse leurs parfums.33 The poet and her soul are blind and lost under the cold white fog of an indefinite countryside in "Sous la Pluie." The world is all vacuum and unfriendliness and Hebert is tragically alienated and alone. 65 Le paysage est long, A perte de vue Sous la pluie, Perdu Sous la pluie, Sous la brume. Mon ame sous la brume, La brume froide et blanche, Dans ce paysage, Perdue sous la pluie, Sous la pluie, Perdue Sous la brume.34 In the poetry of Gatien Lapointe, one is far removed from the grudging and unkind universe of the two elder poets, a universe which engulfed man in its immensity and dissolved him in its grayness. Lapointe's world has not the horrible and gigantic geographical features and proportions of the Grandboisien landscape. There are no interstellar wastes, towering volcanoes, upset galaxies, twisting winds and intermin able and vague stretches of mist. Instead, nature is closer and more intimate and fashioned to man's size. It is at his level. It is comprised of sun, sky, trees, grass, rainbows, roots, saps, soils, furrows, forests, flowers, animals and birds. There are also seas, rivers, snow, rain and wind but they are neither hostile nor menacing. Lapointe's world is not vicious and there exists a warm bond between it and man which Pierre de Grandpre calls an "amitie tellurique."35 Nature is hospitable rather than disdainful and aloof. 66 Et le erepuscule m'ouvre ses bras en fleurs36 Sheltering and protective, its soils are a blanket which shield man while its animals warm him. La terre est ton premier berceau.^^ Je fais mon lit dans la chaleur des betes38 It nurtures, strengthens, and reanimates man and the poet. Je reprends souffle dans chaque arbre, Je bois le sang de chaque bete;39 The clays and the humus of the natural world can close men's wounds. Addressing himself to men, the poet advises, Remplis ta blessure de terre fralche*^0 Its friendly beasts accomplish miracles for him and within its happy borders childhood's delights may be grasped once again. Un oiseau me rend mon enfance^l Nature adopts human attributes, becoming understanding and something in which man and the poet may confide. Its gentle, soft rains are invested with a strange pulsing and consoling spirit. Its mild winds are "wise" and man, translating their murmurs, follows their counsels and advice. J'ai plante mon corps dans la terre J'ai livre mon coeur a la pluie intime Je prends conseil de tous les vents^2 Gatien Lapointe's verse abounds with descriptions of a physical blending or fusion of the poet-man and the animal and plant life which surrounds him. Man, his breathing linked to the respiration of the world, his blood flow coinciding with the throbbing of the earth's saps, and his heart beat synchron ized with that of each beast, is not an alien element which must be ejected from the scheme of things. His rightful home is on this earth and he is a natural and undeniable piece of everything within it. He belongs to the decay and the decomposition of the world as well as to its flourishing and fruition. A part of the clay and the sand and of the dark seasons of autumn and winter, he is most often associated however with a blossoming, fertile and rich soiled earth, with refreshing and life-bringing rains, with vigorous green winds, and with spring and summer, the seasons of renewal and maturation. Et dans mon coeur bat celui de chaque bete^"3 Mon front d'humus et de vents verts^ Et toute l'odeur des racines dans sa bouche Et toute la seve de l'arbre dans ses veines Et toutes les saisons et toutes les forets Marchant a pas de chevaux dans sa chair^5 Et ma face n'est qu'un bulbe de terre^0" Je verse l'eau de pluie dans mes mains, nues Et les oiseaux s'envolent de ma bouche^"? Because of the accord between man and his world, there is no discontent and therefore no ambition, on the part of the poet, (as there was with Alain Grandbois) to venture beyond his earthly confines in order to discover for himself a better existence or a more agreeable abode. Lapointe is faithful and devoted to this nature, his only real home and shelter. All is here that he needs and will ever need. Here all may be attempted, accomplished and won. La terre est ma demeure Je parie pour un jour de terre^° Je prends abri au plus pres de la terre^9 Je trouve dans le sol tout ce que j'aime Je trouve dans le temps ce qui m'est necessaire50 Lapointe's universe is not cruel and to be feared and hated and the poet-man finds unsurpassable wealths and exquisite beauties within it. He is passionately enamored of the flowers and the fields of this world and he praises all that makes up his natural environment. Je me grise de voir et de toucher Je m'enflamme de chaque floraison Et chaque grain dore en moi ses epis51 An inevitable part of the earth, he participates with sincere dedication in the lives, the sufferings, and the deaths of its elements and its inhabitants. 69 J'entends la plainte des oiseaux qu'on tue Je vois le bond des betes qu'on enchalne Je conduis au jour l'arbre aveugle52 In Fernand Ouellette's verse there are a few instances where the poet depicts a disordered universe in which man is the trembling object of cruel cosmic whims. Contre les seins des filles Le ciel penche et se fracasse. L'ombre d'un chevreuil traverse une clairiere de planetes hurlantes. 53 la cendre boit la mer la cendre pdtrifie l'dpave et sur l'ame plus nue qu'une lande couve une chevauchee de vents geles.54-However these instances are rare, and, especially in his last volume, Le Soleil Sous la Mort. Ouellette envisions man who dwells in an ordered, friendly, and sheltering interstellar space as well as within a gentle more immediate nature. There is no terror of the great empty expanses beyond the sun in Ouellette's poetry. Space is not all cold darkness and dislocated and colliding planets nor does It threaten to imprison and absorb man within its echoing vastness. It is instead a place of escape and refuge and promises salvation and liberation. Man, ascending into it, may lose his mortal bonds. Because it offers freedom from terrestrial restraints, Ouellette's man Is anxious to enter into it and be engulfed by it. He is eager to be bathed in its warm brightness and in its sparkling yellow, blue and white lights. In the verse of Alain Grandbois there was fear of the cosmos. In the verse of Fernand Ouellette there is a passion for the cosmos. In the poem "Geologie," there is a Biblical image of a Christ-like man who, smashing the walls of rock which encase him, progresses into the sky of morning and even beyond into a friendly and liberating interstellar space where he is "resurrected" and free at last of all his restrictions of earthling. L'air connut alors ce cri a naitre qui soudain fulmine et fend la pierre comme un ange. Le sang doucement aima la chair. Et les membres monterent en plein matin, a perte de feuilles et d'oiselles. 71 Le soleil se hissait a. 1 'homme.•3-J There are other examples of man transcending himself, existing fully and joyfully and forever free from the inhibitions and fears of mortals, in an inviting and radiant upper atmosphere. Tu t'eveillais avec des cometes dans la gorge. Et nous avancions dans le blanc, et nous vivions de vie, et nous aimions.56 On ira brule" de brillance bleue. . . .57 Along with this vision of men freed and sheltered in a hospitable space there is also in Ouellette's poetry the same nature-man rapport that Gatien Lapointe describes so extensively. The vast white vegetable matrix of nature is his true habitat and to it he belongs. Aujourd'hui nous sortons nus d'un bain de memoire pour habiter blancs la matrice vegetale et vaste.58 There is a marriage of man to the natural world in the poem "Eveil" as his body melts into and becomes one with the morning, the sky and the grass. Lisse de silence le corps s'ouvre a l'herbe croissante. Le matin peut crouler sur ses epaules.59 72 .There is a strange, almost surrealistic image in the second stanza of "Printemps" which describes the union of man's whole physical and spiritual being, represented by his heart, with the forces of nature, represented by the river and the snow which falls upon it. The life rhythms of man and the universe are co-ordinated. Mon coeur, vois comme il fuse contre le fleuve, comme il bat sur son bleu avec le feutre de la neige.60 There are numerous images of a disturbed and destructive cosmos throughout Paul Chamberland's verse. There are great tumbled mountains, bolted and blocked horizons, glowering skies, nights which gnaw at the morning light and massive ice sheets which glide forth to cover the world. Shadow invades everything and the sun is trapped in carbon mists. The fine and gentle aspects of nature have been afflicted by a blight and overtaken and thwarted by darkness. malaise les fleurs malaise les eaux . . .61 . . . domaines greve"s de. chancres mauves et de bitumes contagieux. . . .62 1'ombre a deVore le pays les vents y creusent leurs cou loirs sanglants63 The world is unkind and hostile. There is no place to stand and man and the poet are tossed about and battered by squalls. The poet exclaims: 73 on avait coupe les etoiles une a une et je n'ai jamais re joint le jour je n'ai point voix dans la bourrasque . . . je suis de la terre sans racine ou la foudre sang noir ecrase entre ses dents 1'avril au vert infant de ses bourgeon . . . au seuil des poignets coupe's nous avons vu l'os de la nuit entamer 1'enfant dans l'aurore et le pain dans l'ete65 The distorted and menacing universe in Chamberland1s poetry is meant to represent the cruel repressive force of alien laws and masters which subdue and stunt a Quebec in search of identity and liberation. However, the possibility of a return to earth, to the comfort and refuge of an "earth mother" and an earth womb, is also an important theme in Chamberland1s poetic vision. Man is not doomed to be juggled about indefinitely in a turbulent cosmos. Just as the French Canadians will be eventually released from the black gloom of their political and social bondage to be returned to a Quebec which is theirs and free so they will return to and repossess a fruitful and sheltering Quebec earth. The poet envisions himself and his fellows married with and re-united to a soil and a nature as well as to a liberated political entity. And in this nature, which is specifically a Quebec nature, they find sanctuary and sustenance. 74 Chamberland speaks of the "visage du feu"66 which will release his compatriots from their tight night seclusion and bring to an end their excommunication from the warmth and the security of natural elements. je le verrai d'un coup s'abattre contre nos visages et fouiller a fond nos veines rendre nos corps intacts a la fougue jumelle du fleuve et de la mine nous rendre neufs a 1'Element nous nous reconnaitrons de glaise et de de'sirD< The poet dreams of his own reinstatement in nature which is his mother, his property and his rightful home, and his very essence. He talks of going back to "la verite" du labour de la biche sertie du/sommeil des forets."^^ The universe does not plot to erase him but instead provides him with nourishment. Prom vegetable substances he acquires new life and force. je mords a 1'ecorce immediate 6 resine o parfum pri mordial 69 He appeals to nature for an infusion of its healthful saps. je te rends nu mon corps crible sa nuit de sevesTO The wind does not scheme to carry him off, but strengthens and gives him confidence. le vent m'erige qui me soit complice et fouet?l He is a proper portion of the earth and forms, as it were, 75 one flesh with it. je sangle pas a pas les anciennes terreurs et les fougeres delivrees m'enserrent nuptial je crie ce jour de ma naissance au front tatoue de colere du ciel enfin terrasse qui croule dans mes membres72 CHAPTER III. FOOTNOTES 1. Alain Grandbois, "La Part du Feu," Poemes. Editions de l'Hexagone, Montreal, 1963, P. 198. 2. "Les Lois Eternelles...", Ibid., p. 38. 3. "Ce Feu Qui Brule...", Ibid., p. 67. 4. "Les Tunnels Planetaires...", Ibid., p. 16. 5. "Ce Feu Qui Brule...", Ibid., p. 69. 6. "Ces Murs Protecteurs...", Ibid. , p. 57. 7. "Ce Feu Qui Brule...", Ibid.. p. 70. 8. "Demain Seulement," Ibid., p. 124. 9. "Ce Feu Qui Brule...", Ibid., p. 68. 10. "L'Etoile Pourpre," Ibid., p. 168. 11. "Pris et Protege...", Ibid.. p. 35. 12. "6 Tourments...", Ibid., p. 11. 13. "Ces Murs Protecteurs...", Ibid.. p. 58. 14. "Le Flot," Ibid., p. 183. 15. "Pris et Protege...", Ibid., p. 35. 16. "Ces Murs Protecteurs...", Ibid., p. 57. 17. "Pris et Protege...", Ibid., p. 35. 18. "Les Absentes," Ibid'.. p. 142. 19. "L'Etoile Pourpre," Ibid., p. 164. 20. Ibid., p. 169. 21. Anne Hebert, "Soir," Les Songes en Equilibre, Les Editions de L'Arbre, Montreal, 1942, p. 18. 22. "Le Miroir," Ibid., p. 44. 23. Ibid. 77 24. Ibid., p. 45. 25. "Terre."'Les Songes en Equilibre, p. 62. 26. "Mystere de la Parole," Poemes, Editions du Seuil, Paris, I960, pp. 73-74. 27. Ibid., p. 74. 28. "Terre," Les Songes en Equilibre. p. 63. 29. "Le Miroir," Ibid., pp. 46-47. 30. "Jour de Juin," Ibid.. p. 14. 31. Pierre Page, Anne Hebert, Editions Fides, Montreal, 1965, p. 98. 32. "Espace," Les Songes en Equilibre, pp. 73-74. 33. "Figure de Proue," Ibid., p. 19. 34. "Sous la Pluie," Ibid., p. 23. 35. Pierre de Grandpre, Dix Ans de Vie Litte"raire au Canada  Frangais, Beauchemin, Montreal, 1966, p. 85. 36. Gatien Lapointe, "Ode au Saint-Laurent," Ode au Saint- Laurent , Les Editions du Jour, Montreal, 1963, p. 71. 37. Gatien Lapointe, "Inevitable Terre," Le Temps Premier. Jean Grassin Editeur, Paris, 1962, p. 7. 38. "Ode au Saint-Laurent," Ode au Saint-Laurent, p. 71. 39. Gatien Lapointe, Le Premier Mot, Les Editions du Jour, Montreal, 1967, p. 82. 40. "Le Socle du Temps," Le Temps Premier, p. 20. 41. "Du Sol a La Premiere Branche," Ode au Saint-Laurent, p. 25. 42. "Les Sabliers du Temps," Ibid., p. 41. 43. Ibid. 44. "Entre Ciel et Terre," Ode au Saint-Laurent, p. 29. 45. "Au Ras de la Terre," Ibid. , p. 9. 46. "Seuil de l'Homme," Ibid. . p. 12. 47. "Entre Ciel et Terre," Ibid., p. 27. 48. "Seuil de 1'Homme," Ibid., p. 12. 49. "Entre Ciel et Terre," Ibid., P. 27. 50. "Les Sabliers de Temps," Ibid. , P. 39. 51. "Presence au Monde," Ibid., p. 49. 52. Ibid. 53. Fernand Ouellette, "Les Deserts de Varese," Le Soleil  Sous la Mort. Editions de l'Hexagone, Montreal, 1965, P. 39. 54. Fernand Ouellette, "Ressac de Songes," Ces Anges de Sang, Les Editions de l'Hexagone, Montreal, 1955, p. 10. 55. "Geologie," Le Soleil Sous la Mort. p. 26. 56. "Et Nous Aimions," Ibid.. p. 12. 57- "Vers Nous Venons," Ibid., p. 24. 58. - "Geantes Tristes," Ibid., p. 16. 59. "Eveil," Ibid., p. 50. 60. "Printemps," Ibid., p. 52. 61. Paul Chamberland, "Les Nuits Armees," Terre Quebec, Librairie Deom, Montreal, 1964, p. 15. 62. "Domaine de l'Aveugle IV," Ibid., p. 68. 63. "Les Nuits Armees," Ibid., p. 14. 64. "Lettre a la Femme-Aurore," Ibid., p. 58. 65. "Domaine de l'Aveugle IV," Ibid., p-. 68. 66. "Poeme de 1'Anterevolution I," Ibid., p. 39. 67. Ibid. 68. "Poeme d'Appartenance," Terre Quebec, p. 9. 69. "Poeme de 1'Anterevolution II," Ibid., p. 40. 70. "Poeme d1Appartenance," Ibid. , p. 9. 71. "Poeme de 1'Anterevolution II," Ibid., p. 40. 72. "Entre Nous le Pays I," Ibid., pp. 44-45. CHAPTER IV THE WOMAN AND LOVE In the Grandboisien poetic vision there does not exist and never will exist such a phenomenon as an absolute and perfect love which can provide a total happiness and an escape from all the distresses and uncertainties of human existence. Love is in fact deceiving, offering but a temporary elation and a provisional drunkenness and although it might appease and comfort for a while, it is not a definitive answer to the anguish of mortal man. The joy proffered by the woman is too sudden, too quickly and passionately burning, and without a future, not because she who inspires this love is insincere and consciously treacherous but because she must obey, like all living things, the laws of death. The experience of love does not bless the poet and men with blissful forgetfulness of their human condition but only makes them more aware of their littleness and their inevitable death. Love is "cette experience qui rouvre 1'inguerissable blessure de l'ame."1 And, C'est dans l'experience de la passion amoureuse que se situe le point de depart, la provocation d'un drame qui finit par impliquer toute la creation. C'est par elle que le poete eprouve le poids et la menace du monde.2 Love and the woman loved have tragic limitations. At the lips of the woman, the poet finds no sweet refreshment and no strengthening substance and he discovers there instead his own basic fragility, the frightfully quick passage of all things of this life, and the black gaping abyss of nothingness wherein he will soon flounder. "Ta bouche je la bois et je bois l'abime."^ By the warmth of her embrace, the woman is unable to save him from his solitude and his fundamental loneliness and nakedness of man. Even while in her arms he can never quite forget that he carries within his mortal bones a piece of the ghost. En vain tes bras tiedes Liberant mon fantome Ont-ils englouti la forme de mes solitudes^ The lovers are subjected to all the sweeping cruelties of the universe. Unwelcome in the scheme of things, they are the playthings of a dislocated and far from sympathetic nature. Houles moirees de la mer Qui nous rouleront plus tard Au gel des etoiles decedees^ Moreover, bewildered by the immensity which threatens to swallow them up and paralyzed by the thought of the death which awaits them, they are humble and very resigned. Powerless and spiritless, they will not fight their fate nor will they struggle to bring back past joys. Rather, they resolve to be quiet, uncomplaining, and continually prepared for what lies in store for them. Referring to their ashes, they speak of themselves as though they are already two dead people : 81 Taisons-nous rien ne peut recommencer II faut oublier les lampes les heures sacrees Taisons-nous oublions tout Noyons les mots magiques Preparons nos tendres cendres Pour le grand silence inexorable" However, at one time, love promised miracles and a finer and more brilliant reality and woman was associated with peace, light, greenness, and eternity. The poet occasionally speaks of her as though she were a goddess and a marvelous creature who brought mercy and comfort. Out of the tumult of the world her outstretched arms seemed to create silence and the calm expression of her pure white face could fix time forever in an ideal dimension far beyond the despairs and the tempests of this existence. Tes bras etendus font le silence Ton blanc visage fixe le temps Au dela les ddsespoirs Devastant le centre des tempetes Au dela l'Obscur fuyant comme mille fleuves Arrache la derniere sagesse Ta levre enchaine la ceinture de l'aurore? In "Le Peu Gris . . . ," there is an image of the lovers setting out on a fantastic journey. They are glowing with smiles, laden with stars, their happy hands are like quivering birds on the verge of song, and their eyes are riveted on distant regions of peace and joy. But the poet has been unhappily enlightened and he realizes the impossibility of love's promises. There is no such thing as an absolute love and the man cannot find a "depassement" in it. Woman is tragically unattainable and her face and her soul, indeed all of her, are blocked by a partitioning wall which shuts her off and dissociates her forever from the lover. Any charms the poet might wield to reach her will be foiled. La nuit m'a enselgne la cloison de ton visage Et je voyais dans ses couloirs choisis Ton oeil comme un feuillage Toutes les colombes comme ta bouche Au dela ma main 0 mon pressentiment Au dela mon talisman8 Indeed, the woman, seen in a harsh new light, has been stripped of all the fairy glitter. Fiancee 6 Fiancee ton regard n'avait plus d'etincelles Ton front avait chasse les feeries triomphales Tu etais sans ailes Tu etais comme le dernier reflux des derniers o ceans9 Grandbois realizes that the lovers are ruled by death and that his arms, entwined about the woman, are little more than decayed foliage on dead branches. Skeptical, and doubting the reality of even the brief joys they once lived, he cries Mais nos echelles de joie Ont-elles jamais ete tisseesl° This disappointment in love is responsible for the 83 evocations, mainly bitter but also at times strangely compassionate, of the woman throughout Grandbois' poetry. In "Au Dela. Ces Grandes Etoiles . . . ," the poet says that he sees in the woman's love all the "frissons" of a turning cold and a rejection and all the "poisons" of infidelity. In "Le Feu Gris . . . ," there is an angry accusation of the woman as being responsible for the failure of the love relation. The poet reproaches her for lighting a huge blazing fire which seduces him, the lover, and yet which cannot last and will soon die out. Uncaring and insincere, she knew all along that the passion would be short-lived and that he would suffer and he scolds her for having cheated him. Pourtant tu savais que le feu porterait 1'immense incendie des volcans Tu savais la torche implacable des buissons allumes Tu savais la nuit vide et l'aurore sans douceur Tu savais l'homme nu parmi son desert Tu savais sa souffrance comme un pro chain cadavre11 There is bitterness in the poem "Que Surtout Mes Mains . . . ," as the poet, describing his love's "absent lips" and her "adorable lies," chastises himself for having taken her too seriously. 84 Vous levres absentes Je vous ai trop vues trembler dans d'adorabies mensonges J'ai trop cerne" le domalne de votre gel J'ai trop pleure" pour vous^-2 In "Le Peu Gris . . . ," she is associated with venom and serpents, with the hardness and the coldness of knives," and with the betrayal of faith and the breaking of pacts. Et ma souffrance vivait des serpents de ton pro chain oubli Guettant l'heure du couteau de ton absence Guettant les pltoyables sourires de la premiere trahison!3 In "Avec Ta Robe ..." however, there is a tender pity for the woman's delicacy. The poet speaks of wounds and he emphasizes the fact that she is but mortal flesh and very vulnerable. Avec ta robe sur le rocher comme une aile blanche Des gouttes au creux de ta main comme une blessure frafche Avec tes pieds faibles et nus sur la dure force de rocher 6 toi mortel instant de l'eternel fleuvel^ Love is not dealt with too extensively in Anne Hebert's poetry but when she does speak of it, she stresses its unfulfilment. Love and the lovers are endowed with no special charms and, like all else of value in this world, they are transient and subjected to a ruthless destiny. Alluding to herself and to her lover, the poet says: Nous passerons vite, Et peut-'etre Qu'on ne pourra pas Etre ensemble du tout . . .15 Gatien Lapointe has found the love absolute and, especially in the volume Le Temps Premier, he sees love as an all-powerful and wonderful state which can bring complete happiness as well as provide the escape and the sanctuary that both Alain Grandbois and Anne Hebert failed to find in it. He regards the woman as a sort of super-being or goddess who, concerned, affectionate and understanding, furnishes a shelter for the man away from the disturbances and instabilities of his world, continually strengthening, inspiring, and encouraging him. There are no deceptions or failures inherent in the man-woman relation but only endless promise. The woman is not mistrusted for her treacheries, unconscious or otherwise, nor is she pitied because she is but clay and very mortal. It almost seems that she can never die and that the happy love she brings will last an eternity. She is admired and worshipped and constantly associated with the clearness and brightness of water and lights and with the refreshment and comfort of flowers and plants. La lumiere commence au bord de tes mains Comme une riviere Rosee eclatante Ton epaule creuse a meme le chemin D'entieres figuresl6 Ta hanche garde un feu contre les vaguesl? When the poet looks at her he-is not reminded, by the sight of the drops of water in the palm of her hand, of wounds and her mortality. Instead, he links her with the eternal sea. Tu avances en pleine nuit Tes hanches creusent un berceau Et c'est la mer qui naftl8 She is pure and has refining and cleansing qualities. Femme epure mes biens de tes larmesl9 Her body is all growth and freshness and the green brilliance of nature in its spring. Ta main fleurit sur mon e*paule 20 J'accompagnerai ce feuillage Qui monte a. l'assaut de tes tempes2! J'ai vu des tiges pousser sur tes doigts Et des anneaux plus vastes qu'une fleur22 An "earth-mother," the woman is fertile and the source of a vital substance in which things may grow. Toute forme vient fleurir sur tes levres23 She animates and gives life. Et ton souffle anime tout horizon^ The woman is precious and very essential to the poet-man. Without her he is nothing but with her he "is" and he exists. His very life depends upon her presence. Et je n'existe que si tu me connais2^ She is for him the promise of new beginnings and he exclaims that the slightest trembling of her body close to his leads him to believe that all can be accomplished and had and that all his hopes and desires will soon be realized. Tout nait d'un frisson dans un corps tres proche2^ Love infuses him with new powers and courage and, warmed and reinforced by the woman's affection, he becomes invulnerable and almost indestructible. J'espere tout je risque tout je cree tout j'aime27 Si j'aime, je suis indestructible.2^ Je ne mourrai pas si je t'aime.29 In love the eternal present is' found and the poet lives forever 88 in a delicious moment. Tu a mis dans mon coeur un present immortel.30 Lapointe's verse is not completely clear of suggestions as to the possible succumbing of the woman and the lovers to fate's cruel caprices and, often at the moments of most exuberance and optimism, questions and statements which reveal a deep-seated doubt and despair suddenly jolt the happy tempo of the verse and blacken the mood. La mort nous rattrapera-t-elle en plein route 731 Le hasard nous enchafnera-t-il de nouveau?32 But these melancholy interludes are temporary. Love is a powerful condition and unlike the Grandboisien lovers, Lapointe's lovers will not patiently bide their time until they are sucked in or brushed away by the forces of their destiny. They are tense, defiant-, and extremely strong. They hurl challenges at the heartless gods, they assert their presence in the world, and they talk of reigning and ruling. II ne faut pas qu'un dieu nous defigure33 Je dis que nous vivrons Nous prendrons demeure a jamais^ La chaleur de ton lit nous oblige a regner35 Their love implies a victory, a fruition, and a growth, not failure, decay and death. 89 J'ai vu l'herbe fleurir au creux de nos anneaux36 Nous franchissons le fleuve le plus sombre Notre malson fleurit chaque jour de l'annee37 In Lapointe's verse, the cosmos does not possess and control the lovers. The world is not unkind to them and they will not be swept away by its mischievous elements. They are not.its victims but Instead they are in pleasant accord with it. The tides curl themselves in a friendly fashion around their heels, the soil sustains them with its dark richness and all nature flourishes and is plentiful about them. Le sol nous soutient de son souffle Les marges s'enroulent a. nos chevilles Nous suivrons l'heure du soleil Le vent brule la criniere des chevaux Et l'arbre se reveille en pleines feuilles Nous durons d'une lumiere naturelle Un defi extreme nous rend meilleurs Nous serons le chant de la terre38 Rendered mighty and very confident by their love for each other, they come to believe that they possess and control the world. Le paysage est dans nos mains39 It is even suggested that, in the enthusiasm of their affection, they can alter and transform nature, bringing the world around them out of its winter and its darkness. They will melt with their warm bodies the ice, they will blow life into the frozen river centers, they will take up in their arms the broken tree and they will compel the spring to come forth on this earth. 90 Nous e"tendrons nos corps brulants sur la neige Nous soufflerons dans le coeur gele des rivieres Nous prendrons dans nos bras l'arbre tombe Nous obligerons le printemps a naftre.^O So optimistic and strong are the couple in love that they know they can put an end to all men's suffering. Nous avons panse" la douleur des hommes Et balise de flammes leur enfance^l Described with reference to lush forested undergrowths, to mosses, ferns, tender new shoots and the sparkle and glamour of stars, woman, in the poetry of Pernand Ouellette, revivifies the man with her fires and her vitality. She is "la promise/au dur declin"^2 and love is assurance of eternity. Notre corps lourd de fruits et d'eclats d' e'ternitW Love and the woman are for Paul Chamberland all that Alain Grandbois said they could not be. The woman is, as both Gatien Lapointe and Pernand Ouellette conceive her, connected with the life-giving forces of nature and its eternal elements of greenness and light. s'endorme le soleil en l'apres-midi de ta hanche^ le monde en toi s'epouse et corbeille creve en rires^-5 91 je t'aime et le ciel reflecb.it ses miroirs en ton sourire nuageux46 6 parfum de toi dans mon domaine foudroye tes pas d'eau vive dans les sentes brulees de ma soif47 In loving the woman, the man enters into the protection and the sustenance of the earth of which she is an integral part. He says that in her he touches the elemental soil and that through her he has access to all the natural abundance of the world. je touche en toi le sol eiementaire48 par toi j'accede a l'abondance de la terre^9 She refreshes the weary poet just as nature does, bringing him life rather than a reminder of his death. Of earth he asks that it riddle his "night" with its saps and of woman he demands that she place honey on his tongue and bread in his mouth. The poet-man goes to the woman and her sources of nourishment as does the hummingbird to the flower and he loses himself joyfully in her fertile vastness. un colibris se perd heureux aux franges des abimes-meres^0 Woman is a quietness and a refuge away from the rush and the turmoil of the madding world and the poet refers to the silence that she manages to create for him on the margins of the contemporary delirium. As with Lapointe, the poet-roan in the verse of Paul Chamberland takes on new proportions when in love, becoming vigorous and giant-like. He is no longer blind, mute and intimidated, grovelling in the black night of his frustrations and weaknesses but, brave and defiant, he is sure that he is capable of accomplishing anything and everything. He possesses the world and it no longer, as in Alain Grandbois1 conception, possesses and dominates him. par toi l'homme tisonne en plein azur le bucher des desirs et prend le monde dans ses mains . . .51 Chamberland's lovers find an earthly eternity in their embrace and they confound death. Their.eternity is their clasping, grasping hands knotting and sealing the union of their two bodies in the warm thickness of summer nights. Chamberland feels, as does Lapointe, that without the woman he would be nothing and hopelessly adrift. et si tu n'etais pas je serais pris dans l'engrenage et la fixe folie du froid52 The woman, gifted with fantastic magical strengths, is able to vanquish man's sorrow and terminate his spiritual depression, provoking the dawn of a fresh and unspoiled day. She is the "femme-aurore."-^ ton geste appariant l'espace aux jardins seme aux cica trices des nuits la fleur giratoire du jour^^ 93 She can even re-invent and make more beautiful and pleasant for the poet the presently sad and distressed world in which he dwells. She offers a new world to him and he drinks it from her lips. et le coeur violet de la fleur rougit ta chair embrase ta levre ou je bois le monde blesse gueri55 In the poem "Ite missa est," the divine and perfect season of childhood is gone, apparently never to be refound. All that remains are bitter memories, dried grass and the whitened bones of youngsters struck down at the very climax of a frantic and boisterous dance. The poet-man flounders in the rust and the clanging tin of the insane daily ritual of adulthood. But that happy time may yet be retrieved. Woman and her sorcery can bring back to the poet those former days of innocence and carefreeness. Chamberland describes his mistress' laughing eyes in which he discovers once again his marvelous childhood animals which tumbled and rolled about so gleefully in the brilliant gold of summer evenings. The unblemished and new "first world" of youthful naivete and promise belongs to the lovers and can never be wrenched away from them. le monde premier dans nos bras est un enfant qui s'e'veille56 CHAPTER IV. FOOTNOTES 1. Michele Lalonde, "Temoignages," Liberte, II (January-February, I960), p. 152. 2. Gilles Marcotte, "Alain Grandbois," Une Litterature  Qui Se Fait. Les Editions HMH, Montreal, 1962, p. 250. 3. Alain Grandbois, "6 Fiancee...", Poemes, Editions de l'Hexagone, Montreal, 1963, p. 84. 4. Ibid., p. 83. 5. "Le Tribunal," Poemes, p. 120. 6. "L'Aube Ensevelie," Ibid., pp. 145-146. 7. "Au Dela Ces Grandes Etoiles...", Ibid., pp. 17-18. 8. Ibid., p. 19. 9. "6 Fiancee...", Poemes, p. 86. 10. "Au Dela Ces Grandes Etoiles...", Ibid., p. 20. 11. "Le Feu Gris...", Ibid., p. 28. 12. "Que Surtout Mes Mains...", Ibid. , p. 89. 13. "Le Feu Gris...", Ibid.. p. 28. 14. "Avec Ta Robe...", Ibid., p. 48. 15. Anne Hebert, "Eternite," Les Songes en Equilibre, Les Editions de l'Arbre, Montreal, 1942, p. 41. 16. Gatien Lapointe"Le Pas du Chemin," Le Temps Premier. Jean Grassin Editeur, Paris, 1962, p. 32. 17. "Corps Accordes." Ibid. , p. 33. 18. "L'Eau et la Terre," Ibid., p. 38. 19. "II Suffit d'un Visage," Ibid., p. 18. 20. Ibid., p. 19. 21. "Un Seul Mot Une Seule Maison," Le Temps Premier, p. 31. 22. "J'Animerai Ton Coeur," Ibid., p. 35. 23. "Corps Accorded," Ibid. ,. p. 33. 24. Ibid., p. 34. 25. "Le Pas du Chemin," Le Temps Premier, p. 32. 26. "J'Aime," Ibid.. p. 42. 27. Ibid., p. 43. 28. Gatien Lapointe, Le Premier Mot. Les Editions du Jour Montreal, 1967, p. 79. 29. "II Suffit d'un Visage," Le Temps Premier, p. 19. 30. "Un Seul Mot Une Seule Maison," Ibid., p. 37. 31. "Corps Accordes," Ibid., p. 34. 32. "L'Eau et la Terre," Ibid.. p. 39. 33. "Un Seul Mot Une Seule Maison," Ibid., p. 37. 34. "Corps Accorded," Ibid.. p. 33. 35. "Un Seul Mot Une Seule Maison," Ibid., p. 37. 36. "J'Animerai Ton Coeur," Ibid., p. 36. 37. "L'Eau et la Terre," Ibid.. p. 39. 38. "J'Aime," Ibid., pp. 42-43. 39. "Corps Accordes," Ibid. . p. 33. 40. Gatien Lapointe, "Comme Un Arbre Chantant," Ode au  Saint-Laurent, Les Editions du Jour, Montreal, 1963, p. 55 41. "Kus et Vulnerables," Le Temps Premier, p. 31. 42. Fernand Ouellette,""Elle," Le Soleil Sous la Mort. Editions de l'Hexagone, Montreal, 1965, p. 55. 43. "Femme," Ibid., p. 54. 44. Paul Chamberland, "Anneaux Eclates I," Terre Quebec, Librairie De*om, Montreal, 1964, p. 52. 45. "Chiffre du Seuil," Ibid., p. 48. 46 "Volets Ouverts," Ibid., p. 50. 47. "Femme Quotidienne," Ibid., p. 62. 48. Paul Chamberland, L'Afficheur Hurle. Editions Parti Pris, Montreal, 1964, p. 33. 49. Ibid., p. 39. 50. "Chiffre du Seuil," Terre Quebec, p. 48. 51. L'Afficheur Hurle. p. 34. 52. Ibid., p. 40. 53. From the title of the poem, "Lettre a la Femme-Auro Terre Quebec, p. 58. 54. "Foyer de l'Etreinte," Ibid., p. 57. 55. "Volets Ouverts," Ibid.., p. 50. 56. "Chiffre du Seuil," Ibid., p. 48. CHAPTER V POETIC TECHNIQUES In the area of poetic technique, which, in this study, will comprise the form the poem takes as well as its images and its vocabulary, one may draw rather startling contrasts between the two generations. However, of the three younger poets, only Paul Chamberland and Pernand Ouellette are sufficiently distinct in their technical manipulations to merit contrasting them with Anne Hebert and Alain Grandbois. Gatien Lapointe, a poet too conventional in his employment of imagery, words, and poetic structures, has little that truly distinguishes him from the elder writers, thereby rendering any attempt at showing differences between him and them obviously quite unnecessary. Anne Hebert and Alain Grandbois both write in free verse but generally^ in the arrangement of their poetry upon the page, they are characterized by a very conscious conservatism. In the case of Grandbois, for example, the stanzas in any one of his poems are likely to be all roughly the same size, shape and length. The framework of the poem is relatively traditional and there is no erratic, haphazard and jumbled spacing of lines across the page. There seems to be as well an effort to achieve a certain syllabic regularity and there is rarely to be found any great discrepancies in verse lengths within his poems. The 98 fact that Grandbois is not loath to use rhyme, if only occasionally, could also be considered as evidence of his fundamental technical conservatism. Devant ces buchers fraternels Malgre les cendres inutiles Et malgre cette fuite d'ailes Malgre la morte odeur des villes S'est dresse le seul Arbre d'Or Avec ses bras verts de prophete Le mi el envahit jusqu'aux bords Le toit nocturne des tempetesl There is a new freedom in the approach by the younger generation poets, Ouellette and Chamberland, to the structuring of the poem. These latter are much more daring and willing to experiment than their predecessors. Chamberland, for example, states explicitly in L'Afficheur Hurle that he has no intention of writing in the so-called correct forms. Neither 2 his crude "versets" nor his poetized paragraphs are truly poetic. They resemble more closely prose and a very unconventional prose at that. There is no punctuation and no capitalisation whatsoever and both the "versets" and the paragraphs are almost entirely composed of run-on sentences. les hommes d'ici devisent pose'ment de choses etran-geres ils n'entendent pas le bruit que font dans leur cervelle les lunes crissants couteaux3 je vois s'eteindre dans tes yeux les monstres de ce temps tu es Demain palpable dans 1'aujourd'hui de nos luttes femme ou le monde deja n'est plus qu'une page blanche d'ecolier^ 99 tant pis bonnes ames on en est au menage au grand saccage de vases sacres 6 l'ame la petite ame I'ame de nacre et de lin fin de doux dragee de dieu la blanche hostie elle est tbmbe dans la boue o la pauvre la brebis perdue qui va la ramasser hou hou hou5 At times, in order to indicate the end of one phrase and the beginning of the next, there is a wider space between two succeeding words. But the poet is very arbitrary in his demarcations and it seems that only when the fancy strikes him does he bother at all to designate a pause. et l'homme te parla tu ne comprenais pas sa langue etait celle des chasses et des muscles fendant le froid" The younger poets are very rebellious, eager to manipulate the verse in new ways and anxious to topple the usual poetic set-ups. 1 But they do not do it simply for the anarchistic thrill and the sheer, defiance of it. They create new and different technical arrangements deliberately and very self-consciously so, that the sense of their poems may be reflected in their form, thereby hopefully facilitating the impact of that message or the meaning upon the reader. Towards the end of L'AfficheurHurle. Chamberland is filled with disgust at what he has become. He realizes that his world consists of little more than a corner of shattered pavement in a wretched and dismal "quartier" of Montreal and that his life is as degraded and as futile as the life of the young girl made pregnant by her semi-idiot father. Chamberland's horror of himself is emphasized by the 100 capitalisation of the words "RIEN" and "C'EST TOI," which shout and glare from the page. Looking at the throbbing neon, he sees himself as being one with the tinseled and garish city squalor it represents. He has come to realize that his life beats with the same monotonous aimlessness as the lights. The association of the poet to the flashing tavern sign and what it symbolizes is cleverly indicated by the placing together of two completely capitalized and rhythmically jerky verses which stand dramatically apart from the verses which come before and after and which are both meant to be read loudly and with stress. et les petites bineries du coin buvez du coke fumez la player's ah le grand craquement du soleil empoussiere de ciment et de petrole croulant d'un coup sur la fille engrossee par son pere demi-idiote qui voit pourrir la vie a travers la sueur et les cordees de lessive ah ce grand RIEN dans la course de"traquee de tes heures ce grand trou de la nuit ou braillent les neons hysteriques TAVERN TAVERN TAVERN C'EST TOI TOI TOI tu n'as rien tu te fais des idees sur le monde sur la beaute des jours le monde c'est au-dessus le soleil ^c'est quelque part la-bas hors de la marde chomeur voleur putain gibier de potence C'EST TOI ta ve"rite ce coin de trottoir fracasse? Lively experimental form equivalates poetic sense in Ouellette's poetry as well. The very short juxtaposed verses with great spaces between them of the poem "50 Megatonnes," 101 for example, serve a purpose. So as not to distract from the importance of the message--the horror of a nuclear explosion--the poet eliminates all descriptive frills. The phrases are brief and the ideas are expressed abruptly and tersely. The big spaces and the sudden hush they seem to imply have been put there perhaps to indicate the vast, vast silence of nothingness after the atomic holocaust. The descending or "dropped" phrase arrangement, with each succeeding line containing one less syllable, has an effect of slowing down the reader to stress, possibly, the slowing down and the cessation of all life, altogether. This rallentando also tends to lend an air of a mournful chanted dirge to that part of the poem.8 The tense, shortened phrases with their exclamations and questions and their quickly succeeding enumerations of descriptions and sense impressions of the last part of Sequences de 1'Aile. convey Ouellette's despair and his gasping for a breath in the calloused machine world of today. He has no energy to utter more than aborted phrases. He is also very angry and his rage stifles his poetic eloquence. The lines, in their jumpy excitement and lack of stability, also imitate the frantic synchronized present. De l'Orient a l'Occident les climats delirent. Les totems ddvorent. 0 Verbel ou neige-t-il de l'air?9 102 Memes giclees-soleils dont se grisent les squares. Meme'vin de suie a faire deli-rer le blanc des vergers. Et le chaud clavier de mollets que les tristes marte-lent en sourdine. Cafe" moka! La Presse! Rue Sainte-Cathe-rine! L'odeur des banques se mele aux brises de l'enfance. Au long des devan-tures, les passants surchauffent un ciel e'teint.10 Les pas pierreux du pouls battant mes tem-pes. Mon coeur propage aux veines des t^legrammes de glace. Sons de seve. Ciel d'horloge. Oxygene! A 1'horizon de l'outil' s'engourdit la lumiere. Tempo de bielles. Vibrations de rails. Sur le dur de l'e'chine bondissent les electrons de l1envoi.H The two generations of Quebec poets are also to be distinguished technically, one from the other, by the type of imagery each produces or does not produce. In the verse of Hebert and Grandbois, the images are reserved and, for the most part, lacking in true creative sparkle. Among the younger poets there are two extremes, either an exaggerated and daring employment of images or an almost complete rejection of them. With Ouellette, there is no timidity or restraint, but, instead, a spirited adventurousness and a determination to describe in the most spectacular, spontaneous and untraditional way possible. For Chamberland, poetic imagery with all its hermetic intricacies means convention and convention must be abolished from verse. The poem must speak directly to the reader and its meaning should not be smothered in descriptive trappings, ("j'ai casse le miroir du poeme et fracture" 1'image mur")x2 Alain Grandbois' imagery betokens poetic inspiration, but definitely not poetic daring. In describing his mistress' grace, he equates her eye to a foliage, her mouth to all the doves and her smile to a departure of white barques. The day is in the sun like a golden head of hair. Our lonely hearts are like empty rooms. The disarranged eternal laws which once governed the universe are galloping distractedly like mad horses. Anne Hebert too, has a conventional interpretation of the world about her. In the tomb of the kings, footsteps resound like the first drops of rain at the bottom of a well. The wind is a music which carries everything away with it and the leaves are dancers who are docile until their deaths. The poet's heart is a deserted house, with blank staring shutters and an open door. The seagulls' cries grate like squeaking pullies. Fernand Ouellette's poetry is peppered, especially in Sequences de l'Aile. with involved, audacious and flamboyant images. Some of his descriptive statements, because of their bizarreness and their irrationality, come very close to 104 surrealism which sanctions strange and fantastic unions of normally unlinkable and unassociable words, ideas and real ities. Some examples of his arbitrary handling of imagery are as follows: Quand les poitrines bolides de par 1'espace relient cent villes d'etoile.13 Et lent je fume sous l'oeil comme une ci garette de fable.14-Et sur son ventre dormant mes doigts fusees douloureux, de doux sourires de clown aux coulisses du vertige. Mais les mains meurent marines et coulent au grand fleuve noir electrise de mouet-tesl5 S'illumine 1'epais de notre chair comme un pays d'oiseaux le long de l'aube.16 There is a certain "preciosite" and some vagueness of imagery not common to the verse of the elder generation in the poetry of Paul Chamberland. je m'enfonce plus sur qu'un train entre les dents du malheurl7 (le carrelage hurle ses fours aux fenetres hallucinees)18 Yet this tendency to experiment with description is certainly not as widespread in Chamberland's poetry as it is in the poetry of Fernand Ouellette and he is to be distinguished from the earlier poets more by a rather marked absence, in his verse, of the descriptive element than by its presence. Ouellette differs from Hebert and Grandbois by the exuberance of his images whereas Chamberland's youthfulness and modernity are to be found in the sparseness of his descriptions. Not only is there a difference in the way words are employed by the two generations, there is also a difference in the type of word that is employed. With Fernand Ouellette and Paul Chamberland there is an almost complete freedom of choice as regards the level of language utilised in their poetry, a freedom that Alain Grandbois and Anne Hebert do not permit themselves. There seems to be an attitude among the younger generation poets that almost any words, whether swear terms or advertising lyrics, may enter the poem whereas the older generation poets, afraid of the uncommon and the unusual, use a rather standard, classical, and poetically "acceptable" vocabulary. Fernand Ouellette.is not afraid to introduce contemporary technical words such as "radar"19 and "electrifier"20 into the confines of his poetry. Like Chamberland, he enjoys creating new terms such as "fosse a. neons"21 and "manege a planetes."22 Chamberland's liberated vocabulary includes neologisms, play fully manipulated as well as misused words, quaint anglicisms and contortion of anglicisms, common jargon and slang, medical and technical expressions, and plain gibberish. Among his neologisms are "apatrier,"23 "ensourcer,"24 "s'ajouxter,"25 and "s'appopulacer."26 He thoroughly enjoys juggling words ils vantent mes dons ma transparente purete d'ascete beni-oui-oui27 . . . tant louvoye" dans le frelate la vinasse les fricassees de maman-le devoir-moral-et-les-dix-commandements oui oui28 . . . je fus le bon enfant le sage enfant i'enfant blonde que l'on tranchait en jours ferids pour les tartines du grand Bouffeur de l'eternel Empiffre de l'une sainte catholique apostolique et romaine Cuisine29 There are verses of nonsensical babble: . . •. oui oui ouuuuuuuuuuu ha ha bada bada bada . . .30 Chamberland frequently employs anglicisms or distorted and "Frenchified" anglicisms. . . . mais il a des amis a sourire thootpaste o you charming french-Canadian people but do you tell me what so angry iounissons our both solitioude3l . . . nous trostons Dieu .. .32 He does not hesitate to use familiar expressions as well as slang and jargon. He speaks of "l'universel glou-glou"33 and the "degueulants neons."34 He employs terms such as "mai foutu,"35 "foutre 1'camp,"36 "Couillon,"37 and "merde."38 Words common to the modern, commercial and everyday world fill his verse. He writes of "bulldozers,"39 "strip-teases,"40 "frigos,"4! "bagnoles,"42 and "teve's."43 He parrots advertising jingles—"buvez du coke"44 and "fumez la player's."45 In his poems he mentions "Mister Nobel-Pearson,"46 "Texaco,"47 "General Motors,"48 and the RCMP.49 He employs medical expressions such as "colostrum,"5° "paranoias ," 51 and "miasmes."52 CHAPTER V. FOOTNOTES 1. Alain Grandbois," Devant Ces Buchers Fraternels...", Poemes, Editions de l'Hexagone, Montreal, 1963, p. 62. 2. "Verset" is the term which has been used to describe the unique short "paragraph" divisions which are common to the poetry of Paul Claudel. 3. Paul Chamberland, "Les Nuits Armees, Terre Quebec, Librairie Deom, Montreal, 1964, p. 18. 4. Paul Chamberland, L'Afficheur Hurle. Editions Parti Pris Montreal, 1964, p. 47. 5. Ibid*» P* 54. . 6. "Ungava Terre de l'Os," Terre Quebec, p. 31. 7. L'Afficheur Hurle. pp. 60-61. 8. The reader is referred to quote No. 29, page 13, in Chapter I. 9. Fernand Ouellette, "Radiographic du Jour," Sequences de  1'Alle. Les Editions de l'Hexagone, Montreal, 1958, p. 44. 10. "Quatuor Climatise," Ibid.. p. 48. 11. Ibid., p. 53. 12. Paul Chamberland, "Le Temps de la Haine," Terre Quebec. P. 35. < 13. Fernand Ouellette, "Epopees," Sequences de l'Alle. p. 13 14. "Cinema Cosmique," Ibid., p. 22. 15. "Doigts Fusees," Ibid. . p. 23. 16. Fernand Ouellette, "Femme," Le Soleil Sous la Mort. Les Editions de l'Hexagone, Montreal, 1965, p. 53-17. Paul Chamberland, "Les Nuits Armees," Terre Quebec, p. 1 18. Ibid. 109 19. Fernand Ouellette, "Degel de 1'Homme," Sequences de l'Aile, p. 20. 20. Ibid. 21. "Auberge de la Paim," Sequences de l'Aile, p. 25. 22. Ibid., p. 26. 23. Paul Chamberland, "Les Nuits Armees," Terre Quebec, p. 12. 24. "Poeme de 1'Anterevolution," II, Ibid.. p. 41. 25. "Foyer de l'Etreinte," Ibid.. p. 57. 2 6. Paul Chamberland, L'Afficheur Hurle, p. 56. 27. Ibid., P. 58. 28. Ibid., P. 54. 29. Ibid., P. 53. 30. Ibid., P. 54. 31. Ibid., P. 72. 32. Ibid. 33. L'Afficheur Hi 34. Ibid., P- 53. 35. Ibid., P. 61. 36. Ibid., P. 66. 37. Ibid., P. 70. 38. Ibid., P. 65. 39. Ibid., P. 56. 40. Ibid., P. 57. 41. Ibid., P. 54. 42. Ibid., P. 18. 43. Ibid. 44. L'Afficheur Hurle. p. 60. 110 45. L'Afficheur Hurle. p. 60. 46. Ibid., p. 13. 47. Ibid., p. 14. 48. Ibid. 49. L'Afficheur Hurle. p. 72. 50. Ibid.. p. 54. 51. Ibid., p. 12. 52. Ibid., p. 53. CONCLUSION It is evident, that, on the whole, the two generations of modern French Canadian poets considered in this thesis— the older generation comprising Anne Hebert and Alain Grandbois and the younger generation comprising Gatien Lapointe, Fernand Ouellette and Paul Chamberland—differ, in their treatment of certain themes and poetic techniques and in the viewpoints and the attitudes that each adopts, rather definitely and even, at times, rather drastically from each other. Before terminating, I intend to summarize briefly here the differences which have already, in the course of this study, been shown to exist between these two groups of poets. As regards the "subject," it was found to change considerably between the elder and the younger bards. The poetry of the second generation, leaving the private and highly individual considerations of the first generation far behind, is characterized by more objective and universal concerns, in spite of the inevitable verses where the poets speak of their dreams and their life experiences. The "je," its anguish, and its infrequent pleasures is the subject in the poetry of Anne Hebert and Alain Grandbois while the subject in the verse of Gatien Lapointe, Fernand Ouellette and Paul Chamberland is no longer "I" or "me" but primarily "us" and "you." Just as in France in the late 1930's and early 194-0's, when poets like Paul Eluard and Aragon, engaged with their fellow countrymen in resisting the Nazi menace, rejected the rather selfish hermetic verse and attempted, in their poetry, to link hands and spirits with all oppressed and suffering men, so a number of Quebec poets of the late 1950's and early 1960's (represented in this study by Lapointe, Ouellette, and Chamberland) opted for an involvement with men. These latter have abandoned subjective lyricism and classical soul-searching and lament to write of the real world and the real men who inhabit it. Fernand Ouellette and Gatien Lapointe are both involved and "engage's." Ouellette is a recorder of the sorrows and the trials of men, a saddened prophet of the nuclear fate which awaits them, and a critic of certain glaring deficiencies in the contemporary world and its citizens. Lapointe even considers it to be a fundamental moral responsibility for the poet to speak of and for men. In verse that is at times little more than vaguely poetized political reporting, Paul Chamberland emulates poets like Pablo Neruda, Antonio Machado, and Vladimir Mayakovsky whose communicable, socially "active" and politically useful poems concern themselves with the struggles of repressed people and down trodden nations. The attitudes common to each generation contrast almost as dramatically as black and white. The pessimism, resignation, 113 .and demoralization of Anne Hebert and Alain Grandbois when faced with all the uncertainty and instability of the human lot become, in spite of a few weak and despairing moments, optimism and challenge in the verse of the younger poets. After the elder poets' anguishing experience of the cold and despair, comes Gatien Lapointe with his proud defiance of all obstacles and his fervent and almost fanatic determination to overcome, at all costs, that which restricts his life, growth, and happiness as well as the life, growth, and happiness of all men. Fernand Ouellette's verse is full of joyful and miraculous visions of men who have triumphed over their human condition and even their mortality while a tough and defiant Paul Chamberland is confident that Quebec's dreams of liberation are soon to be realized. Nature, regarded as ruthless and hostile by both Hebert and Grandbois, is seen by Lapointe as kind, sheltering, and strengthening. Man is an inevitable piece of the natural order, not to be tossed about or abused by it. It reanimates and comforts him and he belongs to it, blending with its seasons, saps, fruits, clays and winds just as naturally and legitimately as might any root, laden branch, or beast. Ouellette's interstellar space is not, as were the Grandboisien skies, cold, dark, chaotic and threatening, but rather a place of warmth and welcome into which man may escape and lose his mortal bonds. The world immediately about Ouellette is described as a vast, white, and friendly vegetable matrix to which the poet rightfully belongs. The harsh cosmos painted by Paul Chamberland is, as representative of the oppression that weighs upon Quebec and its citizens, a temporary condition and the poet and his people are soon to be released from it to be reinstated in a fruitful, calm, and sheltering terrestrial order. Anne Hebert writes of love's unfulfilment while Alain Grandbois considers the woman as mortal and very vulner able and the love that she brings as tragically limited, providing no answer to the unhappiness and the anguish of men. The more recent poets see differently however. Lapointe, Ouellette and Chamberland all write of a love that is an all-powerful and an almost magical state. They have found the love absolute that the two older poets dismissed as a mere fairy tale and in the loved and loving woman, a goddess and a perfect, divine, and gracious creature (associated in their poetry with all the life and greenness of nature), they seek and discover refreshment, comfort, quiet and even an earthly eternity. Poetic technique provided another point of comparison in this study of the differences between two generations of modern French-Canadian poets and the daring and imaginative experimentation of the younger poets with regard to the form of the poem, its vocabulary and its imagery, was found to contrast sharply with the unadventurous conservatism of their predecessors. BIBLIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY A. BOOKS Chamberland, Paul. L'Afficheur Hurle. Montreal: Editions Parti Pris, 1964. Chamberland, Paul. Terre Quebec. Montreal: Librairie Deom, 1964. de Grandpre/ Pierre. Dix Ans de Vie Lltteraire au Canada  Francais. Montreal: Beauchemin, 1966. Grandbois, Alain. Poemes. (Les lies de la Nuit. Rivages de  1'Homme. L'Etoile Pourpre). Montreal: Les Editions de l'Hexagone, 1963. Hebert, Anne. Le Tombeau des Rois. Quebec: Le Soleil, 1953. • Les Songes en Equilibre. Montreal: Les Editions de l'Arbre, 1942. • Poemes. Paris: Les Editions de Seuil, i960. Lapointe, Gatien. Le Premier Mot. Montreal: Les Editions .du Jour, 1967. • Le Temps Premier. Paris: Jean Grassin Editeur, 1962. • Ode au Saint-Laurent. Montreal: Les Editions du Jour, 1963. Librairie Deom. ed. Le Pays. Montreal: 1963. Marcotte, Gllles. Une Litterature Qui Se Fait. Montreal: Les Editions HMH, 1962. Ouellette, Fernand. Ces Anges de Sang. Montreal: Les Editions de l'Hexagone, 1955. • Le Soleil Sous la Mort. Montreal: Les Editions de 1'Hexagone, 1965. • Sequences de l'Aile. Montreal: Les Editions'de l'Hexagone, 1958. Page, Pierre. Anne Hebert. Montreal: Editions Fides, 1965. 117 Picon, Ga&tan. Panorama de la Nouvelle Litterature Francaise. Paris: Librairie Gallimard, I960. Robert, Guy. La Poetique du Songe. A.G.E.U.M.., 1962. Robert, Guy. Litterature du Quebec, Temoignages du 17  Poetes. Montreal: Librairie Deom, 1964. van Schendel, Michel. La1'Poesie et Nous. Montreal: Les Editions de l'Hexagone, 1958. PERIODICALS Chamberland, Paul, "Trois 'Durees' Inedites," Livres et Auteurs Canadiens—Panorama de la Production Litteraire de l'Annee. (1964). pp. 45-46. Lalonde, Michele. "Temoignages," Liberte II (January-February, I960), pp. 179-188. Wyczynski, Paul. "L'Univers Poetique d'Anne Hebert," L'Enseignement Secondaire. XXXXII (1962), pp. 51r66. 


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