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English-Canadian poetry, 1935-1955: a thematic study Harder, Helga Irene 1965

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ENGLISH-CANADIAN POETRY, 1935-1955: A THEMATIC STUDY by HELGA IRENE HARDER B.A. (Honors), University of Western Ontario, 1959 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OP THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF Master of Arts in the Department of English We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA April, 1965 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requ i rements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of • B r i t i s h Co lumbia, I agree that the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s tudy, I f u r t h e r agree that p e r -m i s s i o n f o r ex tens i ve copy ing of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s understood that copy ing or p u b l i -c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l ga in s h a l l not be a l lowed without my w r i t t e n pe rm i s s i on * Department of English The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Co lumbia, Vancouver 8, Canada Date A p r i l , 1965 i i ABSTRACT That period i n Canada, between 1935 and 1955, which en-compasses a pre-war depression, a world war, a post-war period of d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t , and the beginning of a time of a f f l u e n c e and i n t e l l e c t u a l expansion, has l e f t an impressive fund of poetry r e c o r d i n g the emotional response of Canadians to the turbulence of these years. At the beginning of t h i s p e r i o d , the poetry i s a s s e r t i n g i t s independence from the d e r i v a t i v e poetry of the e a r l i e r Canadian poets, and the end of the peri o d , has already introduced the new mythopoeic mode which dominates the recent l i t e r a r y scene. The major themes of the poetry of t h i s period are d i -r e c t l y r e l a t e d to the h i s t o r i c a l events of the time. In Chapter I , the poetry of s o c i a l p r o t e s t i s examined i n d e t a i l . A group of e x c l u s i v e l y c r i t i c a l poems, unexperimental i n tech-nique, i s balanced by a group of more sympathetic ones, em-pl o y i n g more of the : c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the new poetry. Many poems of s o c i a l p r o t e s t i n d i c a t e an enduring hope f o r a bet-t e r f u t u r e , but those poems dominate t h i s t r a d i t i o n , which i n -corporate a dec i d e d l y r e v o l u t i o n a r y program. The ult i m a t e s o l u t i o n , however v a r y i n g the degrees of a c t i o n may be, i s man's own r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . Chapter I I presents poems i n s p i r e d by World War I I . The i n i t i a l d i s t r u s t of the war i s replaced by despair. The l o s s of love, l i f e , s e c u r i t y , and meaning i s explored i n i n t r o s p e c -t i v e , s e n s i t i v e poems, as concerned w i t h the emotions on the i i i b a t t l e f i e l d , as those in the empty home. The hope f o r a better future i s found i n love, courage, or endurance, and the f i n a l v i c t o r y evokes both f a i t h and d i s t r u s t i n i t s r e a l i t y . The psychological inte r e s t i n the i n d i v i d u a l i n a post-war world has produced a number of poems examined i n Chap-ter I I I . By t h i s time, the poets are already employing new forms with comparative freedom, and this poetry r e f l e c t s the f l e x i b i l i t y demanded by an i n t e r e s t i n the complexities of human psychology. The tensions between the need f o r people, and the need to be alone are as convincingly presented as those between the desire to be loved, and;the desire to be independent. The tedium of d a i l y existence creats i t s pe-c u l i a r c y c l i c metaphor, manipulated by many of the poets i n a va r i e t y of ways. The psychology of abnormality preoccupies a few poems, but a f a i r l y general statement of f a i t h i n hu-manity i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of a l l of t h i s work. In this chapter, the psychological responses i n several of Pratt's poems are examined, along with a b r i e f discussion of his r e l a t i o n s h i p to the rest of the Canadian poetry. Chapter IV examines the poetry which very d e f i n i t e l y uses myth as structure, and discusses, very b r i e f l y , :the mythopoefc poetry a f t e r 1955. The favourite s t r u c t u r a l myth, the f e r -t i l i t y cycle, i s accompanied'/by the various aspects of the quest myth. A curiously i r o n i c a l inversion of the apocalyptic v i s i o n indicates that the Canadian mythopoeic poets"cannot be i v e x p e c t e d t o be c o n v e n t i o n a l . T h i s s t u d y l e a d s t o the u l t i m a t e c o n c l u s i o n t h a t the Canadian p o e t r y of t h i s twenty y e a r p e r i o d i s a r e l a t e d , but d i s u n i f i e d group of f r a g m e n t s , d i r e c t l y connected w i t h the c h r o n o l o g i c a l e v e n t s of the p e r i o d , but never merging i n t o a c l e a r stream of p o e t r y w h i c h f l o w s t h r o u g h t h e s e y e a r s . The c h i e f r e a s o n s f o r t h i s a r e e x p l o r e d i n the c o n c l u s i o n . A. s e l e c t i v e b i b l i o g r a p h y of t h e p o e t r y p u b l i s h e d i n Canada between 1935 and 1955 i s appended. V ACKNOWLEDGMENT I would like to thank Dr. Donald G. Stephens for his scholarly advice and consistent interest in the writing of this thesis. TABLE OP CONTENTS CHAPTER PAGE INTRODUCTION 1 I. POETRY OP SOCIAL PROTEST 16 II. POETRY OF WORLD WAR II 35 III. PSYCHOLOGICAL POETRY 56 IV. MYTHOPOEIC POETRY 73 CONCLUSION 9 0 BIBLIOGRAPHY 1 0 2 APPENDIX 1 0 7 INTRODUCTION Man i s universally conscious of the dichotomy between the idealism of his aspirations and the realism of his im-mediate environment. Por b r i e f , exultant periods of history, he has f e l t the surge of power, unencumbered by economic, p o l i t i c a l , s o c i a l , and i d e o l o g i c a l problems. At other times, however, quite often those associated with the arduous task: of preparing a new land f o r habitation,, his creative energy has seemed s t u l t i f i e d . And yet, because of his e s s e n t i a l l y indomitable nature, he has continued to aspire, struggling between the p o l a r i t i e s of his existence with courage and pride. Canadians have been unusually encumbered by the tension between t h e i r mental attitudes and t h e i r environmental neces-s i t y . Emigrating from highly cultivated countries, they have had to proceed painstakingly to a commendable l e v e l of recog-n i t i o n in Canada. The r e s u l t has not been a schizophrenic personality, as W.P.Wilgar would indicate, torn between emo-t i o n a l sympathy with England and i n t e l l e c t u a l sympathy with America."*" The mind r e f l e c t s , instead, the constant interac-tion of sophisticated, cosmopolitan ideals, and an undefined, s t i l l crude cul-ture. U n t i l the middle of the present century, 1. W.P.Wilgar, "Poetry and the Divided Mind in Canada", Dalhousie Review:XXIV, No. 3 (Oct., 1944), p.270. - 2 -necessity has perforce dominated Canadian l i f e , and has led to such statements as: We are a conservative and steady people, hardly daring to believe i n our own capacity in the more complex a f f a i r s of sta t e c r a f t , a f r a i d to test that capacity too f a r with new systems and experiments; 2 or: We are more aware than others of the central physical f a c t of the earth, of growth, of har-vest and decay....This and our concentration on the mere task of s u r v i v a l , must be one of the things that makes us an unimaginative people, prosaic, p i t i f u l l y i n a r t i c u l a t e and si n g u l a r l y lacking in humour....It may turn out that we are r e a l l y f i l l e d with f i r e , poetry and laugh-ter, which we have repressed, thinking i t i n -f e r i o r to other peoples' and perhaps these things w i l l erupt some day, with shattering violence.3 The. concrete hope that 'we are r e a l l y f i l l e d with f i r e , poetry and laughter' has sustained the ever increasing num-ber of Canadian men of l e t t e r s through the lean years when i t was becoming p a i n f u l l y obvious that the twentieth century Canadian l i t e r a t u r e would never boast a r i c h two hundred, or even one hundred year old, t r a d i t i o n . F u l l y conscious, as late as 1943, that "our poetry has circulated within a national wall, and American as well as English readers have not cared to know what was going on Inside", l i t e r a r y c r i t i c s have faced 2. Bruce Hutchison, "The Canadian Personality", Man and His World, ed. Ross and Stevens, (Toronto, 1962), p.189. 3. Ibid:., p. 189. 4. E.K.Brown, "Poetry", Letters in Canada:1942, p.311. - 3 -the urgent responsibility of establishing c r i t i c a l c r i t e r i a suitable for the evaluation of the emerging literature. Por the c r i t i c s of poetry, the task has not been easy. Against the intellectual backdrop of the Romantic and Victorian poets, the major Canadian poets of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Lampman, Scott, Roberts, and Carman, are at best imitative, and at worst decidedly inferior. It has been tempting to concentrate upon "what i s genuine in a poem, what is notable, what i s there, rather than ... Con] what is spurious, what i s negligible, what i s not there",^ and i n -dividual taste, rather than more useful thematic or historical perspectives, have dominated poetic evaluation. The nebulous term,'Canadianism', has often been established as a desirable poetic quality per se, and a poem's value i s then directly re-lated to the degree of observable Canadian qualities to be detected or projected into i t . Northrop Frye reminds c r i t i c s in 1958: The Canadianism of Canadian poetry i s of course not a merit in i t , but only a quality in i t ; i t may be revealed as clearly in false notes as in true ones, and may be a^-source of bad taste as well as of inspiration." The genuine desire to establish a valid Canadian criticism has produced some excellent literary periodicals, such as Canadian Literature, Tamarack Review, and Northern Review, 5. E.K.Brown, "Poetry", Letters in Canada:1948, p.255. 6 . Northrop Prye, "Poetry", The Arts in Canada, ed. Ross, (Toronto, 1958), pp.84-5. - 4 -to mention only a few. The c r i t i c a l problem, though genuine, i s but a r e f l e c -tion of the more fundamental creative process of the poet himself. Here too, the s t r a i n between the excellent i d e a l and the f a l t e r i n g , r e a l presentation becomes evident. A 1 9 6 5 evaluation of Raymond Souster by Louis Dudek offers a graphic p a r a l l e l : If the figure f o r Souster the man i s the ground-hog, then the figure for the poet i s that of b u t t e r f l y or bird.7 o Leonard Cohen's recent "A Kite i s a Victim' i s the poetic statement of the same r e a l i t y : A kite i s a v i c t i m you are sure of. You love i t because i t p u l l s gentle enough to c a l l you master strong enough to c a l l you -fool; because i t l i v e s l i k e a desperate trained falcon in the high sweet a i r , and you can always haul i t down to tame i t i n your drawer.... A kite i s a contract of glory that must be made with the sun, so you make friends with the f i e l d the r i v e r and the wind, then you pray the whole cold night before, under the t r a v e l l i n g cordless moon, to make you worthy and l y r i c and pure. While the poetic mind labours in the realm of i n s p i r a t i o n , the poetic man must face the r e a l i t y of l i v i n g i n a half frozen s l i c e of continent. 7. Louis Dudek, "Groundhog Among the Stars", Canadian L i t e r a -ture: 22, p. 48. 8 . Leonard Cohen, The Spice-Box of Earth, (Toronto, 1 9 6 1 ), p . l . - 5 -Unfortunately, t h i s ' r e a l i t y of l i v i n g ' often demands i s o l a t i o n from other poets i n exciting centres of poetry, hundreds or thousands of impractical miles away. The accom-panying lack of easy communication has affected the poetry, for as Louis Dudek contends: What makes a l i t e r a t u r e i s the contact between one poet and another, between one generation and another. Poets breed by s c i s s i o n . Even when they disagree, they learh, and stimulate one another.9 Recent poets may remember with envy, that b r i e f , unique period i n Canadian poetry, with i t s Montreal setting i n the ' f o r t i e s , when most of the major Canadian poets lived within walking distance of each other. The b i t t e r dispute between Patr i c k Anderson, F.R.Scott, A.J.M.Smith, A.M.Klein and P.K.Page of Preview, and John Sutherland, Irving Layton, Louis Dudek, Raymond Souster and Miriam Waddington of F i r s t Statement, Is, perhaps, embarrassing to r e c a l l , but poetry poured p r o l i f i -c a l l y from t h e i r presses during these years, i n a s i g n i f i c a n t contribution to the growth of indigenous Canadian poetry. Obviously, t h i s poetry has been shaped by the complex forces playing upon those writing and evaluating i t . . While the actual problems do not make the poems, they do create a necessary framework of thought i n which the poetry either f l o u r i s h e s , or " i s enclosed i n a prison of l i m i t a t i o n and 9. Louis Dudek, "The Montreal Poets", Culture:18, p . 1 5 3 . - 6 -d e n i a l " . 1 0 It i s no wonder ..then, that the poetry of 1935 -1955* written during a period of incredible world flux, pro-vides such r i c h material for a thematic and h i s t o r i c a l study. The disruptive nature of the world i s paralleled by the d i s -ruptive, fragmentary nature of the poetry I t s e l f . Cause gives way to cause, and no one mood, form, or subject i n -tegrates the publications of these years. In a society which had just experienced the disillusionment of a post-war economic f a i l u r e , and was struggling i n the net of a national depression, p r a c t i c a l confrontation with the prob-lems of the moment was necessary: The salvage of modern society i s to be accom-plished by a p r a c t i c a l facing of human nature and the assumption of personal r e s p o n s i b i l i t y fo r standards of good based on love and under-standing. 1 1 Nature could no longer be the scapegoat for the staggering d i f f i c u l t i e s i n which man found himself involved: To generalize i s always perilous, but i t seems rig h t enough to say that the theme was changing from nature to man, to i n d i v i d u a l man and to man-in-society too, indeed, but to man and away from the birds and the flowers and;the brooks.^ 2 This newisubject matter, as elusive as l i f e i t s e l f , demanded an e n t i r e l y new metaphor and form of expression, and the poets 10. Louis Dudek, "The Transition in^Canadian Poetry", Culture: 20, p.295-11. R.E.Rashley, Poetry In Canada, (Toronto, 1958), p.108. 12. Charles R. Dehler, "Canada's English Poetry Since T h i r t y -nine", Culture:14, p.248. - 7 -of this period, "erudite, Intellectual, complex, impassioned, ironic and anxiously contemporary",^3 are equal to the challenge. The annual survey of Canadian poetry in Letters in Canada, f i r s t published in April, 1936, opens with the blunt statement: At the outset i t should be admitted that 1935 has not been a decisive year for Canadian poetry.... A number of our best poets have published new works during 1935; in none of their volumes is there a ,j, marked lapse from their best previous achievements. These "best poets' are Arthur Bourinot, Ralph Gustafson, Wil-son MacDonald, E.J.Pratt, and D.C.Scott. Only Pratt continues to be important as a poet in the future. The McGill Fortnightly had already introduced A.J.M. Smith, F.R.Scott and A.M.Klein, but of the many poets who come to the forefront in the next twenty years, only Leo Kennedy, Dorothy Livesay, and E.J.Pratt had published an independent volume of poetry. In less than a year, however, Brown's pessimistic announcement was mocked by the explosive publication of inew poetry, New Provinces, a collection of the work of Robert Finch, Leo Kennedy, A.M.Klein, E.J.Pratt, F.R.Scott, and A.J.M.Smith. When New Provinces was being prepared for publication in 1936, Canada was in the throes of a depression, and was a l -ready listening to the rumblings of the great war which would demand some sort of involvement, even though i t was being fought 13. Desmond Pacey, "English-Canadian Poetry, 1944-1954", Culture:15? p.26l. 14. E.K.Brown, "Poetry", Letters in Canada:1935, p.362. - 8 -on f o r e i g n s o i l . The p r e f a c e t o t h i s Volume of p o e t r y p o i n t s t o some of the problems w h i c h the poets were f a c i n g a t t h a t t i m e : Equipped w i t h a f r e e r d i c t i o n and more e l a s t i c f orms, the m o d e r n i s t s sought a c o n t e n t which would more v i v i d l y e x p r e s s the w o r l d about them. -^5 T h i s c o n t e n t becomes a b i t t e r p r o t e s t a g a i n s t the e x i s t i n g s o c i a l scheme i n Canada, a theme reworked p a s s i o n a t e l y by the major poets of the ' t h i r t i e s and ' f o r t i e s . The poets of s o c i a l p r o t e s t a t f i r s t produced angry p o e t r y , f r u s t r a t e d by t h e i r U t o p i a n i d e a l i s m , and f i l l e d w i t h p i t y f o r the op-p r e s s e d and the unemployed.^° I n the ' f i f t i e s , s o c i a l anger and p i t y was r e p l a c e d by n e g a t i v e g l o o m i n e s s : The frame of the new p o e t r y i s t r a g e d y , the t r a g e d y of l i f e i t s e l f , of humanity, s u f f e r i n g an i n c u r a b l e condition.-'-' Problems of t e c h n i q u e accompanied the problems of c o n t e n t : The poems i n t h i s c o l l e c t i o n were w r i t t e n f o r the most p a r t when new t e c h n i q u e s were on t r i a l , and when the need f o r a new d i r e c t i o n was more app a r e n t then Lsic] the knowledge of what t h a t d i r e c t i o n would b e . 1 0 The s e a r c h f o r t h i s d i r e c t i o n was t h w a r t e d by the economic d e p r e s s i o n w h i c h l i m i t e d the q u a n t i t y of m a t e r i a l p u b l i s h e d . 15. " P r e f a c e " , New P r o v i n c e s , ( T o r o n t o , 1936), p.v. 16. L o u i s Dudek, " P a t t e r n s of Recent Canadian P o e t r y " , C u l t u r e : 19, p.412. 17. I b i d . , p.412. 18. " P r e f a c e " , New P r o v i n c e s , p.v. - 9 -Although each of the contributors to New Provinces had writ-ten enough good poetry to have f i l l e d independent volumes, they had to be contented with a joint publication. This financial factor, as well as the pre-war p o l i t i c a l uncertain-ty, accounts for the fact that only two publications of note appeared in 1 9 3 8 , New Harvesting and A New Canadian Anthology. It is l i t t l e wonder that E.K. Brown writes of that year: The poetry of 1 9 3 8 was markedly less interesting and valuable than that of any other year since the survey of poetry in "Letters in Canada" be-gan [ 1 9 3 5 ] . 1 9 Canadians remember 1 9 3 9 more for the declaration of war than for any poetic declaration. At the beginning of the war, the poetic reaction was a social one: In 1 9 3 9 , more than any other year, Canadian poets have been preoccupied with the stresses and blockages in the national society....From un-distinguished scribbling up to the authentic poetry of Mr. Pratt, there has been new vigour and clearness in the presentation of social l i f e . 2 0 The quantitative publication of poetry increased v i s i b l y . Pratt's Brebeuf and His Brethren and Klein's Hath Not a Jew are accompanied by many volumes of poetry by less important, but, nonetheless, noteworthy poets, such as Kirkonell, Bou-rinot, Gustafson, Macleish and Service, in 1940. In this same year, Patrick Anderson, who was to become so Influen-t i a l in the writing and promoting of Canadian poetry, came * 1 9 . E.K.Brown, "Poetry", Letters in Canada:1938, p.2 9 3 . 2 0 . E.K.Brown, "Poetry", Letters in Canada:1939, p . 2 8 3 . - 10 -to Canada from England "with his head f u l l of the s o c i a l philosophy of Karl Marx and the verse rhythms of Dylan Tho-mas". He set about immediately to prepare for the estab-l i s h i n g of Preview, a Montreal p e r i o d i c a l r i v a l l i n g Suther-land's F i r s t ' Statement for the next fourteen years. The actual theme of the war, however, dominated the poetry of 1941 and that of subsequent years. The f i r s t i n -dependent publications of P.K.Page, Louis Dudek, Raymond Sous-ter, Patrick Anderson, Miriam Haddington, and Ronald Hamble-ton appeared i n the ' f o r t i e s . These poets no longer had to face the nervous advent of war - they were already i n i t s f e a r f u l g r i p . VJhile t h e i r work makes a s o c i a l comment, th e i r r e a l preoccupation i s with man's responses to the current war, and l a t e r with an exploratory probing into the psychological responses to the insecure world which i s t h e i r heritage. Freud enters into t h e i r thinking as e a s i l y as does Marx. A volume of verse, presumably inspired by the kind of f a l s e pat-r i o t i s m generally attributed to la d i e s ' groups, appeared In 1941 as well: The volume Lvoices of Victory] contains poems unaware of the war, poems opposed to war, poems gloating over war, and poems - a very few - re-sponding with power^and insight to-the develop-ment of the war.22 2 1 . Desmond Pacey, "English-Canadian Poetry, 1 9 4 4 - 1 9 5 4 " , Culture: 1 5 , p.2 6 2 . 2 2 . E'.K.Brown, "Poetry", Letters i n Canada: 1941, p.2 9 1 . - 11 -But whether the results are weak or strong, each poet was fighting the war in his own way. Pratt's Collected Poems of 1944 echoes a l l the themes found In modern Canadian poetry, and in "Dunkirk", the idealisms and horrors of war are ming-led and poetically examined. Klein published two volumes of poetry, anti-nazi and introspectively Jewish at once. Pat-rick Anderson spoke for many of his genuine poetic contem-poraries when he said: Our task i s clear; not only to help in the win-ning of the war by our literary work...but also to supply something of the personal, the grace-f u l and the heroic to the atmosphere of this half empty dominion.23 Unit of Five, of 1944, Is as dramatic a contribution to Canadian poetry as New Provinces had been eight years ear-l i e r . This collection contains the f i r s t cloth-covered pub-lication of P.K.Page, Souster, Dudek, wreford and Hambleton, poets who echo the themes of social protest and the world war already prevalent in Canadian poetry, and who later become the chief exponents of a new poetic approach to the psychology of the individual in his society. Within the next two years, Page, .Souster and Dudek established their identity as Canadian poets in independent publications of considerable merit. This psychological theme in Canadian poetry reflects the fluctuating emotional texture of the world of the late . 23. Quoted by Dorothy Livesay, "This Canadian Poetry", Cana-dian Forum:24, (April, 1943), p .20. - 12 -'forties. Joyous reaction to the end of the war was mingled with pity and fear as society adjusted i t s e l f to a normal routine again. By 1947, the exultant dream of a permanent world peace had evaporated. Inflation had set in in Cana-da; vicious cold war was fraying the nerves of citizens; brothers and sons would soon be going off to war, this time to Korea or Indo-China. A collective solution to the i l l s of their time appeared illusory, and the poets were forced to study individual responses, which alone seemed to give a meaningful perspective to their poetry. Their poems are motivated by a sense of universal despair, rather than by bitterness against any specific class or system. The impor-tant poets, Klein, Livesay, Pratt, Souster, Birney, Daniells, Pinch, LePan, and Layton, a l l published between the end of the war and 195°, and a l l of them are concerned with the problems of the individual in his society. The poetry of the early ' f i f t i e s presents a particular challenge to the c r i t i c , because i t has taken all'.the sub-sequent years to begin to evaluate the tendencies which were introducing what may possibly become the most intellectually satisfying and, Indeed, f r u i t f u l phase in Canadian poetry. Por the f i r s t time in the history of Canadian literature, a genuinely universal quality i s becoming apparent: - 13 -I t i s the fusion of the modern world with the archetypal patterns of myth and psy-chology rather than with C h r i s t i a n i t y or patriotism that gives a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c cos-mopolitan flavour to much of the poetry of the f i f t i e s i n Canada. 2 4 The poets most cl o s e l y associated with the mythopoeic t r a -d i t i o n in Canadian poetry, Margaret Avison, Jay Macpherson, James Reaney, Anne Wilkinson, and Wilfred Watson, are a l l Toronto poets, and except for Reaney,who published in 1948, they a l l publish a f i r s t volume between 1950 and 1955. The major poets of t h e ' t h i r t i e s and ' f o r t i e s , Pratt, Birney, Dudek, Anderson, and Page, keep publishing between 1950 and 1955, along with t h e i r more mythopeically i n c l i n e d counterparts. Their poetry presents newer attitudes towards some of the themes which preoccupied them as younger poets. Irving Layton emerges strongly during'.this period, and creates an i n t e r e s t i n g tension f o r the cultivated imagery of the mytho-poeic creations with his earthy d i c t i o n and metaphor. As late as 1955, Mr. Woodcock referred to him as being " n e g l i g i b l e 2 5 as a poet", but "worth considering as a portent", J and he i s c e r t a i n l y related to his Canadian predecessors: 24. A.J.M. Smith, "Introduction", The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse, (Toronto, 1961), p . l . 25. George Woodcock, "Recent Canadian Poetry", Queen's Quar-ter ly:62, p.110. , - 14 -the difference was that he i l l u s t r a t e d , affirmed, and practiced i n poetry what they had only feared. He assumed the role of a Canadian Nietzsche, the Promethean l i b e r a t o r from out-worn values, the author of new t a b l e s . 2 " I t Is unfortunate that his affirmations do not always r e s u l t i n poetry of any value. By 1954, Desmond Pacey i s able to say of Canadian poetry: life no longer debate the f u t i l e question of the distin c t i v e n e s s of our poetry; the Canadian poet worthy of the t i t l e cannot avoid introducing his environment into his poetry - i t i s simply there, i n the idioms, the images, the rhythms i f not in more obvious forms. We no longer argue the merits of cosmopolitanism as against nationalism: we recognize that the poet must be aware of both his place.and his time. We no longer feud over the respective claims of free verse and regular metres; the poet i s free to choose the medium which suits him best. We need no longer defend the poet's r i g h t to treat any subject that pleases him, f o r t h i s r i g h t i s now almost uni v e r s a l l y conceded.27 The dominant subjects that please the poets of the period between 1935 and 1955, s o c i a l i n j u s t i c e , the world war, psychology and mythology, work i n disharmony at times, and i n harmony at other times, with no l o g i c a l pattern to pre-d i c t when they w i l l do either. A thematic examination of t h i s poetry i s , therefore, not an attempt to search f o r a unifying force, but i s rather Inspired by the exciting, a l b e i t very conscious knowledge, that each theme i s but a 26. Louis Dudek, "The Transition i n Canadian Poetry", Culture:20, p.294. 27. Desmond Pacey, "English-Canadian Poetry, 1944-1954", Culture:1 5 , p.265. - 15 -fragmentary part of an aggregate of words, written by people l i v i n g i n Canada, printed on Canadian presses, and accompanied by at least as many mischievous muses as serious ones. CHAPTER I POETRY OF SOCIAL PROTEST The poetry with an impassioned social message which emerges strongly in Canada during the late 'thirties and 'forties i s no accident. Inspired by American and English predecessors and contemporaries, the poetic statement of social protest is enlivened by the crass reality of the ten-sions evident in Canadian society during these years. Mas-ses of people were being caught in the wake of a frantic ur-banization and industrialization scheme, which was pouring money and power into the hands of a minority, but was threate-ning the human dignity of the majority. Concerned with re-vealing the autrocities and their causes, as well as defining a solution, the poetry of this time: was attached to a number of powerful supports: i t had a philosophy in Marxism, a programme of action in the proletarian revolution, and a reading public among bourgeois intellectuals. The introduction to Cerberus, the joint publication of Dudek, Layton and Souster, defines the poets' own belief in their a b i l i t y to liberate humanity: The way to freedom and order In the future w i l l l i e through art and poetry. Only imagination, 1. Northrop Frye, "Poetry", Letters in Canada:1951, PP.254-5. - 17 -discovering man's self and his relation to the world and to other men, can save hint from com-plete enslavement to the state, to machinery, the base dehumanized l i f e which i s already spreading around us....Poetry cannot change the world in a day, the world of wars, oppressions, and mob-suicide which men have prepared for themselves. But in the end, only poetry, Ima-gination can do so. 2 These themes, 'enslavement to the state, to machinery', the 'dehumanized l i f e ' , and the discovery of man's 'relation to' the world and to other men', are prominent in the poetry of the turbulent years of Canada's social and economic history. The poems of social protest which concentrate upon the criticism of present society, but are reluctant to suggest a remedy for i t s social i l l s , are hesitant to employ bold, new poetic forms as well. "The Improved Binoculars"3, by Irving Layton, condemns every strata of society. "The f i r e -men were the f i r s t to save/ themselves", the agents survey the ruins of an orphanage only for "a future speculation", love f a i l s "short of the f i n a l spasm", the dignitaries plan future punishment for those who escape the holocaust before they do, and the populace glories in their "neighbour's destruction','. The improved binoculars serve only to expose what is already too painfully obvious. There i s no apocalyp-t i c vision, and no one is l e f t to experiment with a new ideal or a new society. The flames consume everything except the 2 . Dudek, Layton, Souster, Cerberus, (Toronto, 1 9 5 2 ) , . p.13 . 3 . Irving Layton, The Improved Binoculars, ..(U.S.A., 1 9 5 6 ) , p.1 3 9 . - 18 -basic human condition which w i l l perpetuate i t s e l f into dee-per degrees of meaninglessness. The total absence of con-viction and hope, indeed, of poetic vision, is reflected in the prosaic form of expression. Tidy, three-versed stanzas, of one careful sentence each, present a picture of death and destruction with ineffectual diction, never more vivid than "charred", "angrily", and "ravaging a l l y " . The rhythmic anvils which hammer out messages of encouragement to the op-pressed are entirely silent here. Only impotent bitterness remains. Even when one segment of society, i f only the victimized populace, i s considered worthy of poetic :support in this harsh-ly c r i t i c a l scheme, the resulting poetry employs bolder dic-tion and imagery, although the radically experimental forms are s t i l l absent. In Souster 1s "Five O'ClocktKing and Bay",4 the common man, enslaved as .he is by an economic society, e l i c i t s distinct sympathy. The machinery of the "companies, trusts, corporations" releases the slaves for a few hours of rest, "leaving the death smell of dollars and cents and profit arid loss and credit and margin like poison gas,/ To seek out the rats in their holes and k i l l them one by one". Urgency, s t i f l i n g air, and foul economic:profit present themselves powerfully in loose lines, reflecting the "endless corridors" of the slaves. 4 . Ronald Hambleton, ed., Unit of Five, (Toronto, 1 9 4 4 ) , p.57. - 19 -A similar response to the plight of the common man i s expressed in Dudek's "A Factory on Sunday",^ where the sla-very is to the blackened, yellow chimneys of industry. The controlling metaphor and imagery i s bold and dramatic. The "bossed bludgeon/ Of the ape-man and barbarian" has the spiritual power to send "incense down to the people,/ Making them bow down, and pray". The factory as an altar to a "strange god" is particularly appropriate for the "cowed and beaten" society which is unwillingly committed to the per-petual sacrifice of i t s e l f . Although the. imagery and diction is consistent with the theme of bitter protest, the unexperi-mental stanzaic form of the poem recall's similar social poems which c r i t i c i z e convincingly, but do not dare to c a l l for a l -leviating action. The group of social poems which adds the dimension of hope for the future to the sharply c r i t i c a l eye-of the pre-sent, assumes a context of wholeness impossible for the merely c r i t i c a l poetry. Even when this hope has no articula-ted plan for i t s realization, the poems such as Douglas LePan's "Tuscan V i l l a " , 0 Earle Birney's "Anglo-Saxon Street':',? and Bertram Warr's"Working Class",^ display a clearly focussed 5 . Hambleton, Unit of Five, p.1 0 . 6 . Douglas LePan, The Net and the Sword, (Toronto, 1 9 5 3 ) J P - 7 . 7. Earle Birney, Now i s Time, (Toronto, 1 9 4 5 ) , p.19. 8..Smith, The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse, p.3 3 8 . - 20 -vision, and are rich in new forms of expression. In "Tuscan V i l l a " , LePan, like Layton, sees the present social evils in terms of internal decay which affects every-one. Unlike Layton, however, he presents a more exploited, less inherently vicious, common people, who are the result of an: Unfortunate order; the architecture of a flower That drew from the rooted peasants o i l and wine To be involved in the whorled extravagance Of gallery, chapel, chamber, tower and orchard, Folding their deep splendours p r i v i l y To hide a few in vivid leaves of light. Although the image of society as an infected plant is not new, LePan sustains itL;with a r t i s t i c exactitude and fresh-ness. Concerned rather with a description of the present state than with an analysis of i t s causes, he says: ...with a level voice, that the corpse Of a dying house like the corpse of a man is v i l e ; And many a cause of death remains obscure. But dying i t i s . Death in i t s brains and loins. Lacking both creativity and intelligence, the men of the present must, nevertheless, ride hopefully "on history's monstrous back", with "their instruments set up to scan the future/ And plot the guns in parallel". Hope is further im-plied in six imagistic interjections which repeat the picture of a weathervane on a lofty belfry. As the wind causes i.the weathervane to veer with i t , the f i n a l vision i s "that far-off day/ When other towers are circled by mild Ibirds". The sprung rhythm of the highly allusive, unrhymed verses creates a smooth sense of movement, merging the past and the present - 21 -e a s i l y into a v i s i o n of the future. .The 'mild birds' are s i l e n t in. Warr's "Working Class". Adopting a free verse pattern determined entirely-by the content, the poem contrasts the urbanized, sick society, usually expressed i n short, compact statements, with a pas-t o r a l past described i n long, flowing verses. This i d y l l i c past, however, i s seen only negatively. "We have heard no nightingales", and "we have f e l t no willow leaves pluck us timidly", because the "cool, dim lanes" have been replaced by pavement, and the c i t i e s "straddle the land l i k e giants". The d i c t i o n i s most powerful i n those transferred epithets, "angry s t e e l " , and "stern rows of stone", in which the emo-tions of the working class are fused with the overpowering machines. The optimism of the f i n a l v i s i o n i s the organizing p r i n -c i p l e f o r the entire poem: "we know they w i l l topple some day. and on the bleached bones, when the sun shines, we s h a l l begin to build'.'. Everything i n the poem has made such a con-clusion possible. The depressing conditions are the involun-tary r e s u l t of an order which had better plans, but f a i l e d , and not because of inherent viciousness i n human nature. The p o l i t i c i a n s : stand back with chaos i n t h e i r pale old ;eyes. whimpering, "That i s not what we wanted. No. i t was not to have gone that way". The memory of past beauty has not completely disappeared; the present d i s t r e s s i s tempered with beauty which has "crept - 22 -into the shelves of squat buildings" i n the form of l i t e r a -ture. Where the matters of importance, love, ideals, and dreams, s t i l l have some room in society, improvement i s i n e v i -table. With a r a d i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t technique, Birney p a r a l l e l s the diseased, dying world of "Tuscan V i l l a " and the "Working Class" with the faded, bleached world of "Anglo-Saxon Street". Like LePan and Warr, Birney sees hope i n a nebulously d i s -tant future, a "worldrise", but even t h i s mere hint of a new future gives power to his description of the present. The horror of slum existence i s i n t e n s i f i e d by the consistent re-minder of decay. The housepatterns are "faded", the matrons are "bleached", the ghetto i s "denuded", the lanes are "lep-rous", the men are "soaking bleakly i n beer 1 1, and even the lovemaking i s done " s l e e p i l y " . The stench of " c e l l a r r o t " , "catcorpse", and "cookinggrease" pervades the a i r of a society i n which nothing occurs to a l t e r the usual pattern of a squa-l i d day. The conscious, Anglo-Saxon caesura i n each verse helps to create the unmistakable atmosphere of a fragmentary, meaningless existence, while paradoxically, Birney's uncon-ventional combinations of words within the fragments destroy the i n d i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y of each of the words used. The re-su l t i n g mood of tedious monotony i s arrested three times by almost i n a r t i c u l a t e outbursts, "Ho!", "Hoy!","What!", i n -dicating that the present status w i l l not be accepted without - 23 -some struggle. Free of conventional syntax and form, the experimental boldness of t h i s poem heralds the experimental boldness of the society which w i l l assume the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for a l l e v i a t i n g the existing horrors. A group of poems,closely related to Pratt's "Silences", describes the slow, simmering hatred which r e s u l t s from an oppressive world order. This poetry assumes the negative conditions which are the chief themes of the more c r i t i c a l poems, and discusses instead, the underlying forces which are building up a dangerous emotional re s e r v o i r . The s i l e n t power lurking beneath the surface of the sea orders the ima-gery of "Silences". With "no c r i e s announcing b i r t h , / No sounds declaring death", the s i l e n t drama of perpetual des-truction i s being performed. The powerful image of a sea enclosing swift and f i n a l action i s sustained throughout the poem. There i s nothing human about t h i s drama, and yet, with poetic ease Pratt transfers the image of the pre-rep-t i l i a n , s i l e n t power of the sea to the s i l e n t hate i n the hearts of oppressed men. He establishes a contrast between the snarls and growls of the animal world, which are but the "tokens of spendthrifts who know not the ultimate economy of rage",and the cold blood of the l i f e under the sea. The snarling and growling becomes i d e n t i f i e d with the " h a i l of 9. Northrop Frye, ed., The Collected Poems of E.J.Pratt, (Toronto, 1958), p.77. - 24 -gutturals and s i b i l a n t s " of human expression, and the two workers are f i n a l l y just two pairs of eyes, thinking of t h e i r superiors as cats and curs. The danger does not l i e i n t h e i r i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with the animal world, but rather i n the word-less anger of t h e i r hearts. I f a word, or a "hiss or a mur-mur" would have "been spoken, the "exquisite edge of the f e e l i n g " would surely have been dulled; "but no words were spoken", and without an oath, the c r y s t a l l i z e d hate remains unflawed, while the s i l e n t hate goes: Away back before the emergence of fur or feather, back to the unvocal sea arid down deep where the darkness s p i l l s i t s wash on the threshold of l i g h t , where the l i d s never close upon the eyes, where the inhabitants slay i n silence and are as s i l e n t l y s l a i n . The unmistakably B i b l i c a l tone of the poem adds to the seriousness of i t s message. "But l e t s i l e n t hate be put away fo r i t feeds upon.the heart of the hater" i s not unlike si m i l a r warnings i n the Bible, and the replacing of " i s " with "may be" adds an i n t e r e s t i n g dimension to the B i b l i c a l a l l u s i o n , "of such may be the Kingdom of Heaven". Even the extreme, variety i n the form adds a f e e l i n g of uneasi-ness. The verses vary from three words to thirty-three i n length, and the stanzas from one verse to eighteen. The burning hatred, l i k e the poetic demands, i s not conventional, and new solutions must, somehow, be discovered. Employing a form similar to that of "Silences", Raymond - 2 5 -Souster, i n "Hunger", 1 U i d e n t i f i e s the s i l e n t hatred with the very physical sensation of hunger which causes "a pain i n your b e l l y l i k e a thousand needles jabbing". Long ver- • ses build up a fund of reasons for an ultimate eruption of' hatred, and B i b l i c a l intonations are echoed i n the r e p e t i t i o n of "how long". The same silence- p r e v a i l s , but the reason..' for i t i s presented more concretely than i n Pratt's poem. The metaphor of hunger expresses the " i t " which cannot be en-dured for very long "before you s t e a l / b e f o r e you attack, be-fore you k i l l " . The present condition can be mitigated f o r a b r i e f moment by a twenty-five cent meal, but the gnawing hun-ger of d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n cannot be cured with such i n e f f e c t u a l means. • The s i l e n t brooding of the farmer i n Birney's "Man on a T r a c t o r " ^ assumes dangerous proportions when.it i s quietly shared by: ...some of his troop, who now are boring again with agued d r i l l s i n the damp of ; mines, or leaping to couple treacherous freightcars, or twisting bolts on other tractors for other farmers, but i s e n t i r e l y odd to "some of the cool t o u r i s t s / moving on hired ponies under the poised avalanche'! • The veteran recog-nizes the advantage of his present position over the days be-1 0 . Hambleton, Unit of Five, p . 5 9 . 1 1 . Birney, Now i s Time, p . 7 . - 26 -fore the war when he was a "harnessed farmhand", eating pa l t r y doles of old ham and custard at the oilcloth-covered table of the "draggletailed farmwife", and yet he knows that something i s s t i l l b a s i c a l l y wrong with a system which gives him no assurance that " i t won't happen a l l over again". Birney's g i f t of appropriate imagery aids i n the creation of a poetic content for an undercurrent of problems i n an os-tensably unproblematic, r u r a l s i t u a t i o n . The plowman thinks deeply, "while rhythmic s p i r a l s / of dust whirl to his throat". As he works, "he eats old words i n the dust", and the o i l ' trucker, too, sends up swirls of dust on the road. The cool, privileged t o u r i s t s are, by contrast, out of contact with the experiences of the veteran plowman. They are not accused of being the cause of the problem, but are presented as symbols of the improper structure of society: . . . t h e i r l i v e s are consistent to a l l that has been. They l i v e by the throb of t h i s iron i n his chest, by the alternation of tractor, boxcar and tank, that the others ride and sweat and hunger and die i n , while the sleek and t h e i r children paddle the g l i t -t e r i n g r i v e r s and f i s h by the f r i e n d l y f i r through a summer's glo-ry, then wing as easy as birds to the soft south when poplars blazon the winter's r e l e n t l e s s assault. When one part of society l i v e s so completely unaware of the common man, the "poised avalanche" under which i t moves must be but moments away from p r e c i p i t a t i o n . A l l of these themes, c r i t i c i s m of a corrupt society, a vague hope fo r a better future, and the seething, s i l e n t - 27 -anger of man, are, however, peripheral to the r e a l s o c i a l issue of the vi o l e n t , revolutionary program of action dominating much of the poetry of t h i s period. Extremely dangerous because of i t s compulsive emotional, rather than l o g i c a l appeal, t h i s revolutionary poetry employs ex c i -ting, sensual forms of expression. The f i r s t Canadian poem demanding open revolution i s 12 Dorothy Livesay's "Day and Night". The kind of v i s i o n which makes thi s poem possible can best be seen in a b r i e f e r poem, "A S h e l l B u r s t " . j n t h i s poem, presented' i n rhymed quatrains of i r r e g u l a r rhythm, the central b e l i e f of Miss Livesay's s o c i a l poetry i s stated c l e a r l y : I build on no man's land A c i t y not my own, with others planned By others dreamed And with a new race forged and manned! The program f o r achieving t h i s new c i t y i s the central theme of much of her energetic s o c i a l poetry. In "Day and Night", for example, the working men are the puppets of a co n t r o l l i n g force which commands with an impersonal, "giant arm", and cracks a whip of s t e e l . With a complete loss of id e n t i t y , they are churned i n "a moving human belt " u n t i l they are but bolts moving into an ordered socket. S i l e n t l y , however, they a r e " p i l i n g up hatred", with: 12. Dorothy Livesay, Day and Night, (Toronto, 1944), p.l6. 13. Ibid., p. 1.. - 28 -• * * Sell's A l e r t to seize A weakness In the foreman's ease. ...eyes To look across The bosses' p r o f i t At our loss . They wait, ready to seize the appropriate moment to turn l i f e "the other way". Organic unity between the development of the thought and the poetic expression i n t e n s i f i e s the t e r r i f y i n g , v i -vid d i c t i o n and imagery which introduces the poem. An angry, red dawn Is pierced with whistles and "scream a f t e r scream", the appropriate harbingers of a day i n which the machine w i l l once again dominate the "men in a stream". The powerful, free verse of the introductory stanza i s f o l -lowed by the compulsive, pulsating rhythm of rhymed qua-trains, serving both to imitate the tedium of the factory workers' existence, and to build up a tremendous force which w i l l eventually erupt into revolution. In the second section, the rhythm quickens noticeably. The words f a l l . . b reathlessly over each other as the record of e v i l i s r e l e n t -l e s s l y piled up. The shorter stanzas i n thi s section are smooth and r e f l e c t i v e , c a l l i n g upon the i d e a l of love to aid mankind. The a l l u s i o n to Shadrach, Michak and Abednego adds irony to the plight of the workers who are not being protected i n t h e i r f i e r y furnace. The l y r i c q u a l i t y of the ne g o - s p i r i t u a l - l i k e stanzas demands a moral judgment of the - 2 9 -present wrongs. In the last stanza, the emotions building up since the beginning of the poem become powerfully con-t r o l l e d . The unbroken rhythm and established rhyme imply an ordered movement towards v i c t o r y , when "crumpled men/ pour down the h i l l " . In another of Dorothy Livesay's s o c i a l poems, "The 14 Outrider , the theme of man so dehumanized that: he i s but a cog i n a wheel i s used in such a way. that the i n d i v i -dual feelings become important: A thousand men go home and I a thousandth part Wedged in a work more s i n i s t e r Than hitching horse and cart. The sustaining image of the crow un i f i e s the ostensibly unrelated narrative and l y r i c sections of the poem. In the Prologue, the "crows' c h a r i v a r i chattering" establishes a connection between man and nature. Later the crow i s con-trasted with humans, who must be "driven to feed our own ones, but [are] f r i e n d l y to neighbours", and then i t becomes a symbol of torture, caught by malicious brothers and loose-ned to frighten a c h i l d . F i n a l l y the crow i s understood, "and suddenly his urgent s o c i a l bent/ Was answer to my i n -wardness". This inwardness resolves into a clear plan of action, and a sense of immediacy i s created by the conversa-tion between two workers, who are urgently d i s t r i b u t i n g l e a f -14. Livesay, Day and Night, p.7. - 30 -l e t s as quickly as possible, "not veering with the crow/ But throbbing, conscious, knowing where to go". The formal v a r i e t y within the poem adds a remarkable depth to the ideas. The languid free verse of the Pro-logue i s followed by shorter, more i r r e g u l a r verses implying the quickening process of impending maturity. In the second section, the unrhymed quatrains of short verses.are charac-terized by a l i g h t , t r i p p i n g rhythm, followed by stanzas of heavier, regular, throbbing rhythms, surging with s t r i k e a c t i v i t i e s . The return to the longer quatrains leads to the third section which i s i n sonnet form of f a i r l y regular rhyme, b r i s t l i n g with the crackling d i c t i o n of "crumbling roots", "snapping t h i s t l e " and "stubborn sloe". The E p i l o -gue, often appearing Independently i n anthologies, expresses the conventional solution, prayer f o r help from the outside, i n regular, rhymed stanzas. The answer to the prayer, how-ever, i s unique. Man r e a l i z e s that he, and not an outside miracle, must provide the power to free himself, and his ex-u l t a t i o n surges f o r t h i n a hymn of joy-at the end of the poem: 0 new found land! Sudden release of lungs, Our own breath blox^s the world! Our veins, unbound Set free the f i g h t i n g heart. We speak with tongues— This struggle i s our miracle new found. The v i v i d climax of t h i s poem i s not achieved i n Dudek's s o c i a l poetry, but i n the smooth, rhythmical free verse of - 31 -his "East of the City",15 many of the same-insights, are gained. The steam of the f a c t o r i e s does not scream angrily, as i n "Day and Night", but i t i s equally vicious as i t s : ...hiss t e l l s how earnest, Industry's e f f o r t i s , as i t impersonalizes And soon hisses you out of the way. The factory i s a green dragon "whose ogre eyes gleam i n the sooty night", and men are but impotent rats i n cages, or dwarfs, who continue to labour even though they cannot " f i g h t off the enemies of t h e i r forehead". In these 'ene-mies of t h e i r forehead' l i e s t h e i r salvation, the one hope •• fo r the future: But look, how f o r c e f u l with facts, the sullen slaves Here powerful and proud, stand up as leaders No thread runs In the rounded wheel without them. The wheel of society, steel-bright with the future Is wrought by the people, i t s only r e v o l u t i o n i s t s , Por here at l a s t w i l l break, b r i l l i a n t l y , s crolled i n the stars. The searing bolts of cloud-biting thunder So that some day we may go, and see the sun r i s e Outside t h i s world of rubble... Por t h i s , take Walk out to-morrow, t a l k to the world and people. The poem asserts the need f o r c o l l e c t i v e revolution, but de-mands i n d i v i d u a l assumption of the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . In a few s p e c i f i c poems, the sober r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of man to provide his own solution to the s o c i a l problems i s c l e a r l y delineated. In " C a l l i n g Eagles",' L b Leo Kennedy 15. Louis Dudek, East of the City, (Toronto, 1946), p.45. 16. Et h e l H. Bennett, ed., New Harvestings, (Toronto, 1939), P. 56. - 32 -o presents the challenge of involvement to the i n t e l l i g e n t s i a . He reminds '. them: You are a part'of t h i s turmoil, Eagles, knit to i t s glory. There i s work for your strong beaks and the thun-. dering"wings, Por the clean f l i g h t of the mind and the sharp per-ception: There i s only the g l a c i a l death on the lonely crags. The sarcastic description of the eagles, isolated i n t h e i r own problems which have no d i r e c t relevance to the s i t u a t i o n of t h e i r fellow men, makes the i r descent from the "ragged peaks of the mind", into the world of strangling screams, " f a s c i s t madmen" and grinding bone, Imperative. The d i c t i o n implying v i o l e n t motion, "h u r l " , " s p l i t t i n g " , "scattering" and "plunge", indicates the f o r c e f u l impact the eagles could have on the s o c i a l s i t u a t i o n . The mood i s not one of despair, but rather of urgency, realism, and power. But even th i s i s an answer from the outside. In "Land-scape",-'-''' Patrick Anderson c l e a r l y presents the seriousness of man?s i n d i v i d u a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , both p o e t i c a l l y and p h i l o -sophically. In free verse which employs no poetic s t r a t e -gems, the fact that the i n d i v i d u a l must speak i s convincingly stated. "The lovely i s empty", but the solution i s simple and straightforward: ...you, the one, the walker who talks to himself move through the f i e l d s the forests and f u l l y declare: 17. Patrick Anderson, The White Centre, (Toronto, 1946), p . l . - 33 -I am the man, the owner, the one who cares, I am the answer. Man, himself, is invariably at the centre of Canada's social poetry, and indeed, presents the only unifying factor in i t s multi-faceted expression. At times he is the cause of his desperate condition, and at other times he alone is the solution; his dissatisfaction may be stifled in word-less anger, or i t may explode into bitter invective and ac-cusation; he may be considered collectively or individually; he may be consumed with despair or hope; he may choose en-durance or revolutionary action, but he is always concretely connected with the tragedy of his particular moment in his-tory. As man's plight i s radical, so also the social poetry of Canada i s radical in every way. The poets are persuaded that their task i s necessary and honourable, and they pre-sent their observations with the bold freedom of true refor-mers. Without hesitation, they condemn every quarter in need of condemnation, and outline shocking programs of ac-tion for the implementation of an improved society. With the intensity of religious persuasion, they are committed to a careful study of their immediate environment, and as a result their poetry is concrete, lucid, and extremely varied. The imagery i s self-consciously graphic,' the forms are deliberate-ly experimental, and the message i s unmistakably revolutionary. Although much of the poetry i s by now chiefly interesting for historical reasons, much of i t has outlived i t s exclusively - 34 -p o l i t i c a l importance, and can, as i s the case with the ma-j o r i t y of poems cited i n t h i s chapter, be considered genuine, convincing, interesting poetry. CHAPTER I I POETRY OP WORLD WAR I I H i s t o r i c a l s u r v e y s , however l i b e r a l l y documented w i t h s t a t i s t i c s and p o s s i b l e p o i n t s of v i e w , can never.''.hope t o measure t h e p u l s e of a g e n e r a t i o n committed t o the r u t h l e s s -ness of war. What have t h e y t o do w i t h the u t t e r d e s p a i r of the l o n e l y women, the t u r b u l e n t emotions of the s o l d i e r s as t h e y v a c i l l a t e between a r e c o g n i t i o n of the s l e n d e r t h r e a d of human l i f e and the d e s i r e t o c o n t r i b u t e t o a he-r o i c s a l v a t i o n , the hope w h i c h u n i t e s a l l of mankind, and the f e a r of b e l i e v i n g i n v i c t o r y when i t f i n a l l y does come? And when the h i s t o r i c a l s u r v e y s have no bombed c i t i e s and s a c r i f i c e d i n n o c e n t s t o t a b u l a t e , the t a s k of c o n n e c t i n g the f a c t s w i t h t h e human r e a l i t y of emotion i s even more impos-s i b l e . The p o e t i c i m a g i n a t i o n a l o n e can t r a n s l a t e the h o r -r o r s and t r i u m p h s of war i n t o a language s u i t a b l e f o r the d e s c r i p t i o n of man's c o n s t a n t , i n t i m a t e r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h m o r t a l i t y i n ti m e s of war. Canadians were w e l l aware of the uniqueness of t h e i r p o s i t i o n i n the war of 1939-1945. U n l i k e the Europeans, who were n e c e s s a r i l y m o t i v a t e d by the d e s i r e f o r s e l f - p r e -s e r v a t i o n , Canadians were f i g h t i n g more i d e a l i s t i c a l l y f o r freedom and peace. Many Canadian p o e t s , such as B i r n e y , LePan, L a y t o n , and S o u s t e r , chose to, become a c t i v e l y i n v o l v e d - 36 -in the terrors and ugliness of the war front. They, like the poets at home, continued to explore the depths of human1 feeling and involvement, leaving a considerable literary monu-ment to the funeral pyre which smouldered for six, agonizing years. The geographic separation between Canada and the battle-f i e l d caused a temporary distrust in the seriousness of the war, reflected in Klein's sat i r i c poem, " P o l i t i c a l Meeting"."'' Metaphorically French-Canadian, the poem expresses In both form and content, the public confusion which ensues when the p o l i t i c a l situation, which has been no more concrete than a dark cloud hovering over newscasts and gossip, breeds a friendly politician who suddenly demands with "his other voice: Where are your sons?". Instead of containing neat parcels of thought, the three-versed stanzas are characterized by con-stant enjambement, in which undisciplined thoughts move through the confusion to the ultimate realization of the nature of the p o l i t i c a l meeting. United in a f i n a l sense of irreparable loss of innocence: ...The whole street wears one face, shadowed and grim: and in the darkness rises the body-odour of race. The same mute acceptance of loss occasioned by war'pro-vides the experience for Dorothy Livesay's "Sonnets for a 1. A.M.Klein, The Rocking Chair and Other Poems, (Toronto, 1948), p.15. S o l d i e r " ^ and "Railway S t a t i o n " . - 5 In the f i r s t sonnet, the conventional form contains an unconventional, new emotion, t o t a l i n s e c u r i t y . The vocabulary f o r expressing the i n -volvement i n the war has not yet evolved, and the mood of the poem i s determined by "wordless", " s o l i t u d e " , and "bald Good-bye". The only sound Is the ominously f i n a l clang of the i r o n gate which "shattered a world". The only c e r t a i n knowledge i s that nothing w i l l ever be the same again, even i f the war does not cla i m the s o l d i e r ' s l i f e . Na'ture w i l l never more provide solace, because hearts w i l l have grown "too proud". The r e t r o s p e c t i v e , p a s t o r a l quatrains of "Railway S t a t i o n " render a l l the more hideous the r a i l w a y s t a t i o n i t s e l f , where the s o l d i e r s wait i n the "confused, embedded, over-turbulent w o r l d / W h i r l i n g and swarming on out-bound passage". L i k e the woman wishing her l o v e r a s i l e n t f a r e w e l l i n "Sonnets f o r a S o l d i e r " , and the French-Canadians f i n a l l y r e a l i z i n g that the war w i l l demand t h e i r sons i n " P o l i t i c a l Meeting", the s o l d i e r i n t h i s poem recognizes the l o s s of a l l that has-been good: And eyes f a i l i n g , ears dim Voluptuous the quiet came. Tensed on the nerves of s i l e n c e , he: That s o l d i e r standing q u i e t l y . The l o s s which i s becoming i d e n t i f i e d w i t h the a c t u a l 2. Dorothy Livesay, Poems f o r People, (Toronto, 1947), p.20. 3. I b i d . , p.21. - 38 -death of a son or a husband i s met with much the same emo-tion as the i n i t i a l parting. In Warr's "War Widow",4 the knowledge of death produces emptiness and timelessness which causes "no pain", but a "quiet, quiet while of aloneness", and draws tears from already "torn places". The formlessness of the five-versed stanzas helps to express the i l l o g i c of the loss which the war, and not merely death, occasions. The bereaved mother i n Anderson's "War Dead",5 who s i l e n t l y adds another arch to her church when her son dies, loses a l l per-sonal i n t e r e s t i n a possible victory,which w i l l be "something bright, ;but secular". The f l i g h t to the centre;'of l i g h t which could reveal some meaning, illuminates a head with a hole i n i t . F i n a l l y , even the loss begins to disappear, and the earth "begins to remove a l l traces/ of those i n whom we might have been j u s t i f i e d " . The loss of the solace of nature, recognized by Dorothy Livesay i n her war poetry, i s developed further by Earle Birney i n "Dusk on the/the Bay". 6 Both the c i t y and the sur-rounding nature dissolve into b a t t l e f i e l d imagery as the ac-tu a l war begins to dominate the thoughts of everyone a l i v e . The natural phenomena are presented with d i c t i o n which sharply 4. A.J.M.Smith, ed., The Book of Canadian Poetry, (Toronto, 1957), p.467. 5. A.J.M.Smith, ed., The Book of Canadian Poetry, (Chicago, 1943)/P.417. 6. Birney, Nov; i s Time, p. 17. - 39 -focusses the attention on the war scene. The lamps are "regimented"; the evening star detaches i t s e l f and be-comes "an arrested rocket"; the r i s i n g moon's upward jour-ney i s suddenly s i n i s t e r ; to-morrow's sun: . . . i s clean escaped and rushes down through Asian skies, garish with burst of s h e l l and unarrested rocket, and burns the Libyan sands, by bombs cratered and red with l i b a t i o n s poured to the guns. The r a i n which f a l l s as a "quiet coolness on the f l e s h " be-comes "the r a i n of i r o n / cooling the f l e s h " , and the smell of death pervades the ending of the poem. The thought .moves powerfully through the free verse lines which, l i k e Klein's " P o l i t i c a l Meeting", constantly run into each other and form an i n t r i c a t e l y connected unity i n which a l l existence i s completely i d e n t i f i e d with the destructiveness of war, and any p o s s i b i l i t y f o r independent existence i s l o s t . The interpretation of war i n terms of loss alone i s unsatisfying for the inquiring human mind. Afterlrthe numbed recognition of the fac t s , an attempt at th e i r Interpretation w i l l i n e v i t a b l y follow. The Canadian poets have l e f t a con-siderable quantity of probing, introspective poetry which, l i k e Pratt's "Dunkirk",^voices the: fe e l i n g of desperate men pitted against the panzers, a f e e l i n g in which awe and i n f i n i t e fatigue blend with an i n a r t i c u l a t e questioning of the es s e n t i a l nature of things." 7. Frye, E.J.Pratt, p.300. 8. E.K.Brown, "Poetry", Letters i n Canada:1941, p.288. - 40 -In these poems, the .'questioning nature of the s o l d i e r and c i v i l i a n a l i k e i s dramatically portrayed. In a s i g n i f i c a n t number of these introspective poems, hope i s submerged in i n t e l l e c t u a l disillusionment. In Pratt's narrative poem, "Dunkirk", f o r example, se-v e r a l thematic responses at once are focussed upon the slaugh-ter which shattered the l i v e s and nerves of thousands of s o l -d i e r s . The dehumanization of the whole scheme of war i s ex-ploited as the soldiers:and the war machinery become one, "born i n blueprints", fed by " f i r e " , with hearts of "engines", and blood of "p e t r o l " and 'nerves of "wire". I f the dehumani-zation process were ultimate, perhaps the i n d i g n i t y could be forgotten, but the need fo r "space,time, water, bread, sleep" s t i l l remains as a gnawing reminder of the human condition. The crammed deck which reduces the men to the status of human termites, increases the desire for space, f o r freedom. Time loses a l l r e l a t i v i t y : "days, weeks of the balance of l i f e / Offered i n exchange for minutes now". The seventh day becomes the eighth, and the eighth becomes the ninth, with no po-s i t i v e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of any s p e c i f i c day. The hours become units of time, "when heads and legs were blown from trunks". The absolute need for something tangible with which to i d e n t i f y i n the t e r r i f y i n g retreat finds an objective cor-r e l a t i v e i n the physical attributes of the boat: i t was then that the f e e l of a deck The touch of a spar or a halyard Was l i k e a hold on the latch of the heart of God. - hi -Deeds of h e r o i s m i n t r y i n g t o r e a c h the boat a r e mingled w i t h the p a t h e t i c knowledge t h a t what i s r e t u r n i n g may be f a r l e s s than human. The p i t y and t e r r o r of t r u e t r a g e d y i s communicated as the s o l d i e r s r e c o g n i z e the h e l p l e s s n e s s of t h o s e a t t e m p t i n g t o a c h i e v e a g o a l i d e n t i a l t o the one s e t f o r t h e m s e l v e s . The hope f o r s a l v a t i o n i s pervaded by c o n s t a n t t e r r o r of the immediate p r e s e n t . The p i t y of the p o s s i b l e m e a n i n g l e s s n e s s of i t a l l darkens the a l r e a d y gloomy background. The same f a i l u r e t o f i n d a sense of purpose f o r the w e a r i n e s s of the b a t t l e i s the o c c a s i o n of S o u s t e r ' s poem, " A i r R a i d " . ^ u t t e r h o r r o r r e s o l v e s i n t o n e g a t i v e d u l l n e s s w i t h the r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t the v u l t u r e s a l o n e b e n e f i t from the c o n s t a n t human s a c r i f i c e , as " d r o p p i n g s of murder f a l l from t h e i r s t i n k i n g b o w els". I n p l a c e of a w o r l d where "once l i f e s p a r k l e d and l o v e w e l l e d " , t h e r e remains o n l y a vacuum, w i t h "no f e a r . . . n o i n t e r e s t , n o t h i n g but b l a c k n e s s " . The s i x l o n g f r e e - v e r s e l i n e s w hich encompass the vacuum emphasize th e m e a n i n g l e s s of l i f e by t h e i r v e r y l a c k of f o r m a l r i g i d i t y . I n t h r e e r e g u l a r l y rhymed q u a t r a i n s , Dudek t r i e s t o a n a l y z e the meaning of the u n r e m i t t i n g s a c r i f i c e i n " I Have Seen the R o b i n s F a l l " . 1 0 The atmosphere of an a r r i d , E l i o -t i a n w a s t e l a n d pervades the poem, as the Imagery r e c a l l s 9 . Hambleton, U n i t of F i v e , p. 6 4 . l C v John S u t h e r l a n d , ed., Other Canadians, ( M o n t r e a l , 1947), P . 3 3 . - 42 -the 'cactus land' of E l i o t j throats are "dry" in the dry air, the trees are "high" and "stark:", and the vegetation i s "s p l i t to sharp forks". As the robins f a l l , Dudek is re-minded of the "crushed powder of pure, white bones". As a result, art, like l i f e , must become dry and meaningless: "and a l l the poems that sang in my heart/ Turned to the same white, bitter salt". The imagery i s obviously El i o t ' s , but the simplicity and beauty of the statement i s characteristic of Dudek's poetry. As may be predicted, Layton"s introspective war poems culminate in complete disillusionment as well. In "Veteran", the perversion of the human form is emphasized by the ima-gistic representation of a "cripple" with a "green face" and a "wrecked torso", who crawls along the street with one foot lengthening hideously behind the other. The short, jerky-verses imitate the abnormal movements of the wounded soldier, but the ultimate interpretation of the poem demands the in -volvement of the reader. In "Returning With an Annual Pas-s i o n " , 1 2 Layton extends his inditement of the present war into the worlds of nature and religion. The irregular, unrhymed stanzas defy the formal concept of the cyclic rebirth of nature. In a world where ideologies are "car-ried out in bedpans", the resurrection of Christ, and the 11. Irving Layton, A Red Carpet For the Sun, (Toronto, 1959), P.73-12. Sutherland, Other Canadians, p.56. - 4 3 -return of spring do not mean the return of l i f e in this poem. The only recurring event w i l l be the continued, sense-less sacrifice of the soldiers, which "cannot save my soul". The stony responses of the people watching the monuments to fallen soldiers rise on memorial squares arenas cheerless in "Capital Square".1^ The most positive term which Ander-son can find for describing the value of the war is that i t i s an "abstract good". Human identification with a sense of purpose i s quite impossible. Worse than being the victim of a cruel machine, man is now a "pigmy held in a stone hand". Imagery of stone, and an atmosphere of coldness per-vades the poem; the monument i s a "brute of stone", the square i s "bloodless", and the statues are "stiffened". Even the sound i s a "stone noise", and the statue's voice produces an echo, perhaps of a forgotten l i f e . The men who are being commemorated are metamorphosized into four walls which "swing into symmetry". This symmetrical superimposition of order upon the chaos of disillusionment finds consistent ex-pression in the form of the poem, three six-versed stanzas in which only the last two verses of each stanza rhyme. The a r t i f i c i a l order is an intrusion, rather than a meaningful interpretation of what is happening. Ultimate negativism is emphasized in the negative response to a ceremony in which the statues have "No upon their lips and the heart^at zero", 13. Smith, The Book of Canadian Poetry, (1957), p . 4 3 5 . - 4 4 -and the onlookers know that "no warmth i s here". The f i -nal r e s u l t of war then, i s the hardening of a l l humanity, whether a l i v e or dead, into stone. This cold response to the uncertainty of war i s re-flec t e d i n Bertram Warr's "There are Children i n the Dusk".!' The tone of thi s short poem i s de l i b e r a t e l y monotonous, with no d i s t i n c t i v e rhythm and no cadences which might indicate the existence of a remnant of human emotion. Response can only be negative i n a negative s i t u a t i o n . Non-heroic deeds are "not glorious",- "no s i t e s " exist, p e r f e c t l y suitable f o r monuments, and even tears are too positive an assertion, and mourners must, therefore, "not weep at unveilings". Since the "tenderness only confuses/ The children who wait i n the dusk", the s a c r i f i c e s of the past must be forgotten, and the future must not be hoped f o r with any enthusiasm. A l l that i s l e f t i s a meaningless present. Pessimism and n i h i l i s m , however, are not the dominant poetic responses to World War I I in Canada. The majority of poems present hope which surpasses the admitted loss and, otherwise meaningless,despair. Por Birney, the hope i s i n unselfishness and love, for LePan, i n constancy and courage, for Livesay, Warr, Dudek, and Souster, i n a vigorous b e l i e f i n a better future. This hope i s never expressed i n purely r e a l i s t i c terms, but always finds i t s ultimate roots i n 1 4 . Ralph Gustafson, ed., The Penguin Book of Canadian Verse, (London, 1 9 5 8 ) , p.205. - 4 5 -concrete, personal contribution. Like the best s o c i a l pro-test poetry, which had to come to the r e a l i z a t i o n that i n -d i v i d u a l man was the answer, the poetry of the War makes a sim i l a r discovery: Por f l y i n g ' s easy, i f you do i t diving And diving i s the s e l f unmoored Ranging and roving - man alone. 5 A l l the negativism of the poems of despair stands i n sharp contrast with the kinds of ideas presented i n B i r -ney' s "Lines For a Peace". 1 0 Positive d i c t i o n establishes the tone of the poem, and i n spite of the seeming endless-ness of the physical present, the mind asserts the hope for a future; "The mind says yes, and yes and Be/ and beauti-f u l the f i s t e d - l i g h t " . I n t e l l e c t u a l assent, existence, and aesthetic beauty must continue to dominate the blackness of r e a l i t y . Although the elements of time and space lose a l l perspective, as i n "Dunkirk", the loss here Is f o r a posi-t i v e reason. "Space i s now and now i s time", and the mer-ging of space and time i s for strength, and not for a loss of i d e n t i t y . With the power of both elements, man can per-haps: ...with the pain of love shock him to the b r a i n — then c e r t i f y the future sane. 15. Livesay, Day and Night, p.37. 16. Birney, Now i s Time, p.5. - 46 -The theme of love as hope i s i r e p e a t e d i n Birney's poem, "Death of a War",^ i n s p i t e of the depressing a t -mosphere of "grime", "reeking smoke", "soot", and "dust". When the b i t t e r n e s s and anger of the "smutted" world domina-tes the hearts of i n d i v i d u a l s , they are "the blackened and the broken c a b l e s / the f l a s h of l i f e leaps over". What must replac e the " t h i n n i n g hate" i s , i n f a c t , love, which i s a "metal v i b r a n t " to the heart, dominating the w i l l * and h e l -ping man to r e a l i z e h i s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y "to r i s e from our d i r t and f u l f i l / the a r c h i t e c t ' s message". Redeeming love i s more s p e c i f i c a l l y defined as u n s e l -18 f i s h n e s s i n B i r n e y ' s elegy, "For Steve". Sadness, r a t h e r than b i t t e r n e s s or t e r r o r surrounds the memory of Steve: For when your l i f e seeped out l i k e smoke there va-nished a fragment of the bounty of our kind, a piece of bravery, of laughter, grace, and r i p e n i n g humanity. The nine-versed stanzas, unusually r e g u l a r and p r o s a i c f o r B i r n e y , lead through the mutual experiences of the two f r i e n d s , set Steve against the background of the past, and come to the u l t i m a t e conclusion that h i s s a c r i f i c e has not been i n v a i n . Somehow a b e t t e r f u t u r e w i l l be the ^ r e s u l t : ...Since you who walked i n freedom and the ways of reason fought on our f r o n t , we 17. B i r n e y , Now i s Time, p. 5 3 . 1 8 . I b i d . , p.29. - 47 -f o r e s e e the p l o t i s s o l v a b l e , the d u e l worthy. Meantime our s t a g e w i l l p i l e w i t h p o i s o n e d y e a r s u n t i l we t e l l a r i g h t t h e p r i n c e ' s words, and b l o o d as proud as y o u r s has b u i l t a p r o u der w o r l d . T h i s i s not s e n t i m e n t a l p a t r i o t i s m , but r a t h e r a p o w e r f u l an-swer t o the a c c u s a t i o n t h a t the p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the war i s a m e a n i n g l e s s a b s u r d i t y . The form of the poem i s a d m i t t e d l y weak, but the message i s p o w e r f u l . W h i l e B i r n e y e x p r e s s e s the thought t h a t s a l v a t i o n w i l l come t h r o u g h l o v e and u n s e l f i s h n e s s , LePan p l a c e s h i s hope i n the courage of b r a v e w a r r i o r s who choose, immediate, p e r -s o n a l i n v o l v e m e n t w i t h danger. I n "The Net and the S w o r d " , ^ he b u i l d s up the metaphor of a w o r l d caught h e l p l e s s l y i n the web of a h o r r i b l e war. The net of the Roman a r e n a becomes the o r g a n i z i n g metaphor, and a l l of the a c t i o n s i n the poem emphasize i t s r e s t r a i n t . The v o i c e s a r e " s t r a n g l e d " ; the t e l e p h o n e w i r e s a r e " l o o p e d " and " t w i n i n g " ; hypotheses a r e "enmeshed", and o r d e r s a r e s e n t on " c r o s s e d f r e q u e n c i e s " ; rumours a r e " s m o k e - l a t t i c e d " , and even the c l o u d s a r e " k n o t -t e d " . A l l of t h i s draws t o g e t h e r the " e m b i t t e r e d / D e b r i s of h i s t o r y " . I n s p i t e of the c o n f u s i o n i m p l i e d i n the metaphor, t h e medium of f o r m a l l y rhyming s t a n z a s makes the v i s i o n of an o r d e r l y , " s h o r t , s t r a i g h t sword" p o s s i b l e . The h e r o i c s o l -d i e r f o r c e s h i m s e l f t o choose p h y s i c a l i n v o l v e m e n t , r a t h e r than the " u n t a n g l i n g word", and w i t h r e a l i s t i c courage he 19. LePan, The Net and the Sword, p.20. - 4 8 -performs h i s deeds. He does not d e l u d e h i m s e l f i n t o b e l i e v i n g t h a t the a c t i o n s of a s i n g l e man w i l l " s t r i k e the v i t a l s " of the e n t a n g l i n g s i t u a t i o n , but he knows t h a t he can " a t l e a s t l e t i n the sun". He r e a s s e r t s t h i s b e l i e f i n " M e d i t a t i o n 20 A f t e r an Engagement", when he l e a r n s from "t h e woman who i s my wisdom", " t h a t e v e r y age has been f a i n t - h e a r t e d , r e -deemed/ By d a r i n g horsemen". T h i s courage, f r e e from i l l u s i o n , but f u l l of i n d i v i d u a l g r e a t n e s s , w i l l l e a d t o the e v e n t u a l r e d e mption of the w o r l d . The same awareness of the p r e s e n t c a t a s t r o p h e , i l l u m i n a -ted by an unquenchable hope, dominates LePan's " E l e g y i n the PI Romagna". The poet i s " s t i c k y w i t h sweat and w i t h human-k i n d " , but he i s c o n v i n c e d t h a t the war i s but a temporary d i s r u p t i o n i n the u n i t y of the cosmos. H i s one d e s i r e i s t o " f i n d / An emblem of o r d e r " . He f i n d s i t i n the s p i d e r , i n S e c t i o n V, and the poem b u i l d s up t o a t e n s i o n of hope as the s p i d e r b u i l d s h i s web. As the p e r i p h e r y of- the s p i -d e r web i n c r e a s e s , the i n d i v i d u a l t h o u g h t s f i n d t h e i r ex-p r e s s i o n i n l o n g e r v e r s e s , and extend t h r o u g h as many as f o u r of them w i t h o u t a comma. The d e s c r i p t i o n of the moun-t i n g t h o u g h t , as i t c o r r e s p o n d s t o the e n d l e s s s p i n n i n g of t h e web, i s h e i g h t e n e d by the absence of c o n n e c t i v e words: 20. LePan, The Net and the Sword, p . 3 7 . 21. I b i d . , p . 4 7 . - 4 . 9 -"mounting, mounting', breaking, respun, as thin/ as star-light", explodes until i t "claspts] the upper a i r / and there restore[s] relation and identity". The constant activity culminates in the same sunlight which the gladiator with the short, straight sword makes possible. A l l the impotence and silence of the former passages gives way to the new sense of order created by bravery and patience. Reassembling the rose, in "Field of Battle"22, requires the same, patient re-ordering of the universe, and results in the same optimis-t i c hope for mankind. Hope for a meaningful future i s not always defined in terms of love and courage. Often the mere assertion that there is hope makes continuation possible. In her sensitive poem, "VJ Day",23 Dorothy Livesay exploits the necessity of a simple, but firm belief in hope. In this poem, the belief is not even immediate, and yet i t i s effective: But you said: "Have faith." You said, Only.Hitler was in a hurry and his haste Would one day be spent. So you said. And we wed. Here the faith of one person directly inspires the faith of another, starting a chain reaction of positive activity. When victory comes, the quiet response to the proof of faith i s reflected in the child-like acceptance of the knowledge that the "wrath has devoured i t s e l f and the f i r e eaten the 22. LePan, The Net and the Sword, p.31. 23. Livesay, Poems for People, p . v i i i . - 50 -f i r e " . Perseverence and f a i t h r e s u l t i n the reordering of l i f e , and the "Yangstse flows again". Just as the two lovers communicate the r e a l i t y of f a i t h , the two people on opposing sides of the b a t t l e provide the' 24 same kind of encouragement i n "Communication to the Enemy", by Souster. I d e n t i f i c a t i o n with the enemy's marred youth and strength makes i t possible for the enemies to be s p i r i t u a l comrades, and together they can hope with a "secret, ardent flame", confident In the knowledge that there i s "always, comrades, hope, beyond the border". In the simple act of f a i t h , mankind i s united, instead of divided. The freedom from formal enmity i s r e f l e c t e d i n the freedom and i r r e g u l a r i -ty of the rhythm i n the three short stanzas. The existence of hope, however pale, in Dorothy Livesay's "After Hiroshima", 25 illuminates the future. The s i n i s t e r fact that the heart dare not evaluate the knowledge that the r i g h t hand i s " s t i r r i n g the pot of e v i l / The hydrogen brew", requires a " c h i l d ' s b e l i e f , rocked i n a cradle of doubt", but does, nevertheless, "prophecy our safety" and "illuminate our hope". The negative use of r e l i g i o u s imagery indicates that the hope does not reside i n r e l i g i o u s miracles, but i n the simple, constant reaffirmation that hope has not, in f a c t , disappeared. "Not any more" do the aspects of C h r i s t ' s 24. Hambleton, Unit of Five, p.66. 25- Dorothy Livesay, New Poems, (Toronto, 1955), unpaged. - 5 1 -resurrection and transfiguration present themselves. The mysteries of l i f e are rejected, and the hydrogen bomb pre-occupies the mind. Nevertheless, hope, however immature, can s t i l l abide. In "The Sea", 2 6 Dudek states f i r m l y that man w i l l even-t u a l l y triumph. Although one generation may be l o s t , mankind w i l l l i v e on. The B i b l i c a l image of Job, suffering innocently " i n a long sorrow" i s an encouragement, rather than a source of bitterness: Death i t s e l f i s curable In the human body, Though one generation find No near recovery. The b e l i e f i s rather i n the es s e n t i a l nature of mankind, than in the power of any one scheme to provide a better world. The answer to.the problem of meaning does not necessarily l i e in posit i v e action, but rather in endurance and u n f a i l i n g know-ledge that negative action cannot annihilate humanity. The absolute lack of r e s t r a i n t from the bonds of war, by the assertion of mental power, i s expressed i n "The End of the World", 2? by Warr, a poem with obvious overtones of Hopkins. In ten i r r e g u l a r verses, the very d i c t i o n of the poem demands an active abandonment of the mundane world, and an assumption of s p i r i t u a l power and f o r t i t u d e . The r e p e t i -2 6 . Hambleton, Unit of Five, p . 1 3 . 27. Smith, The Book of Canadian Poetry, ( 1 9 5 7 ) , p.470. - 52 -tion of " r i s e up" l i f t s the participant out of the squalor of the world, and raises him to the " l i g h t arch across the sky", spanning the world, but f a r above i t . The surging action of leaping, breaking, s t r i d i n g , and crying, erupts into a "joy", and mankind can "sing now, at l a s t , of the se l f found, freed, GodJ-high shining". Only powerful, un-f l i n c h i n g hope can make thi s freedom possible, when the r e a l world i s claiming sons and lovers i n constant death. When v i c t o r y f i n a l l y came i n 1945, the poets had less to say than they had had during the war. An ambivalence as to the enduring qu a l i t y of the v i c t o r y characterizes the poetry which celebrates i t . In an i r o n i c a l comment i n "May 8 t h . 1945", by Roy Daniells, the v i c t o r y a c t u a l l y becomes no v i c t o r y at a l l . Sheer gossip, conveyed at se-cond hand, communicates the good news: "they t e l l me", "they say", that the war i s over. Instead of the anticipated e l a -t i o n , a deliberate, monotonous dullness accompanies the v i c -tory. Nature w i l l continue as i t always has been, and the a c t i v i t i e s of mankind w i l l continue after the b r i e f , impor-tunate inter r u p t i o n . The f e e l i n g that nothing has been learned, and nothing very important either l o s t or gained, provides a subtle undercurrent, conveying the thought that i t could very e a s i l y happen again. 28. Roy Da n i e l l s , Deeper Into the Forest, (Toronto, 1948), P.39. - 53 -In two very d i f f e r e n t poems, Birney presents the at-titudes of both f a i t h and d i s t r u s t i n the v i c t o r y . In "On a Diary: 1 9 4 5 " the v i c t o r y i s very d e f i n i t e l y a "magic year of ends and of beginnings". The war i s over, and a new epoch has begun. "The world has f i x e d / a parting wider than the width of seas". The absolute comment of "fixed" leaves no ambiguity as to the message of thi s poem. In "Letter to a Possible Grandson",3° however, the very t i t l e suggests an uneasiness about the present, newly found se-c u r i t y . He presents the attitudes of "some fol k " , who are so thoroughly disgusted with humanity that they envy the moon which "has no man to scab her", and yet, there are the others, who believe that "each s t a r / w i l l set from a more meaningful parabola". He, himself, cannot choose between the two, and gives advice to a "possible" offspring, who may, or may not, have a world i n which to l i v e . Prom the beginning to the end of the war, the Canadian poets remain true to the i r l i t e r a r y task of playing an active part i n 'the winning of the war'. Most often deeply introspective, but sometimes impressionistic, they succeed in giving a comprehensive Canadian view of the emotional and physical involvement in the world situation.. By 1 9 3 9 , the new poetry has influenced the style of a l l of the better 2 9 . Birney, Now i s Time, p . 4 9 -3 0 . "Saturday Night", Poems f o r the Interim, (Toronto, 1 9 4 6 ) , unpaged. - 5 4 -poets, and the war poetry i s free from the s t r a i n of r e s t r i c -t i v e form and self-conscious experimentation. The impressive v a r i e t y of the poetic responses Is most p r o f i t a b l y discussed in terms of the ideas, rather than the forms. The c i v i l i a n response to the disruption of home and happiness i s presented i n sober poems, free from sentimen-talism and f a l s e patriotism. Loss of concrete and abstract values i s sometimes accepted with stoicism and courage, and often i s not r e a l l y accepted at a l l . The war poetry records the reactions of human nature to an e s s e n t i a l l y inhuman s i t u a -tion, without imposing romantic i l l u s i o n s upon i t . The r e a l l y dramatic war poems are those with a war-front setting. With a newly acquired, sophistication of technique,.the poetry displays well chosen imagery and d i c t i o n which captures the urgency, anxiety, despair and loneliness of the battles fought in airplanes, battleships, or on the b a t t l e f i e l d s . Physical and mental tortures are f r e e l y intermingled in the t o t a l p i c -ture of the war. The ultimate statement of the war poetry i s p o s i t i v e . R e a l i s t i c acceptance of the sorrows of the war years does not preclude an ess e n t i a l optimism. The statement of f a i t h i n man's a b i l i t y to reconstruct his universe a f t e r a time of utter chaos i s rendered a l l the more clear by the i n -creasing excellence of the poetry. Rhyme i s consistent with the thought, rather than ornamental, rhythms adapt themselves - 55 -f r e e l y to the complexity of the martial s i t u a t i o n , d i c t i o n and imagery i s descriptive, rather than defensive, and the t o t a l a r t i s t i c e f f e c t i s less uneven than that of the poetry of s o c i a l protest. CHAPTER III PSYCHOLOGICAL POETRY In the early stages of Canadian l i t e r a t u r e , the poets were overwhelmed by the r e l a t i v e i n s i g n i f i c a n c e of man's attempt to gain any kind of control over the powerful ele-ments of nature, and the poetry of that period was often a r i t u a l i s t i c worship of nature, with vague al l u s i o n s to man's position In the scheme of things. In the present cen-tury, however, with i t s deplorable s o c i a l conditions and catastrophic world wars, the poets are forced into an aware-ness of man's r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to his s o c i a l environment, r a -ther than to his s t r i c t l y natural one. Where the f o c a l point in this newer poetry i s the s p e c i f i c tragedy of exploitation or war, a very d e f i n i t e i n t e r e s t i n i n d i v i d u a l , as well as s o c i a l responses, i s evident, although subordinated. This psychological theme becomes dominant i n a large group of poems which probe into the d i v e r s i t y of human reactions to l i f e . The dichotomy between man's Intense need for both com-munity and privacy, f o r love and independence, f o r acceptance and i n d i v i d u a l i t y , provides the material for poetry which de-mands absolute f l e x i b i l i t y i n order to capture i t s s u b t l e t i e s . Every man finds himself -vacillating between the desire to f i n d a place i n the stream of a c t i v i t y , and the desire to withdraw and meditate. The loneliness which i s born of the - 57 -failure to make contact with this stream of l i f e , and the powerful need for society when privacy becomes unbearable, is the subject of several of the psychological poems. This loneliness can be caused by a proximity to the impersonal masses as easily as by a separation from them, and Patrick Anderson detects a deep loneliness in the centre of the most colourful of Canadian c i t i e s , Montreal. In "Montreal Moun-ta i n " , 1 this gay city encloses at i t s very heart "loneliness and mystery". The endless carrousel motion implied by "giddy crown", "men curved on horses", "riding round and round", "wheeling city", I V h i r l of plains", i s dramatically juxtaposed with the "lonely", "empty...mindlessness of the volcanic mound", in which the "strangers are you and you". The tragic failure to communicate with the imminent l i f e of the city causes a loneliness as acute as that caused by isolation. The sad mystery of the collective loneliness at the centre of the city turns into ugliness and despair In Sous-ter' s "Bridge over the Don",^ as the individual sees his per-sonal loneliness reflected in the fetid river flowing beneath the bridge. The loneliness comes from a surfeit of l i f e , rather than from i t s inaccessability. The "three hotels" and the "jitterbug dancehalls", "where beauty and truth have been burned out, slugged out/ given the gate forever", cannot 1. Patrick Anderson, A Tent for April, (Montreal, 1 9 4 5 ) , unpaged. 2 . Raymond Souster, The Selected Poems, (Toronto, 1 9 5 6 ) , P. 7 3 . - 58 -offer a solution for the human need. The river flows on, but unhappiness remains. The irregular approximation of the sonnet form creates a suitable framework for a response which can be expressed, but need not-be exploited to be" meaningful. Loneliness caused by isolation finds a particularly meaningful-metaphor in Canada's isolation from Europe. Earle Birney captures the "simple inhuman truth of this emptiness" in "Pacific Door",3 a poem uncharacteristically free of the enjambement usually employed by him to achieve a sense of continuity. Here, instead, the isolation, rather than the unity, dominates the formal organization of the poem. Remi-niscent ':of the sea crashing on the shores of Canada with rhythmic regularity, the length of the verses alternates re-gularly, intensifying the metaphor. The poem finds no com-fort in the universal fact that a l l men are geographically isled; man s t i l l yearns for community: the problem that i s ours and yours, that there i s no clear Strait of Anian to lead us easy back to Europe, that men are isled in ocean or in ice and only joined by long endeavour to be joined. The enforced loneliness of old age, and the self-imposed loneliness of the man afraid to become involved with l i f e , are examined in two separate poems from which a very exciting parallelism emerges. In Souster's "when I See Old Men",4 the 3 . Earle Birney, The Strait of Anian, (Toronto, 1 9 4 8 ) , p.37. 4. Raymond Souster, City Hall Street, (Toronto, 1 9 5 1 ) , p . l - 59 -old men s i t in "dead corners/ Of lonely rooms", while the isolationist in P.K.Page's "Isolation"5 sits equally re-mote, with "gloved hands in a buttoned confusion", since the present i s so faded, both find i t necessary to regress into the past for meaning. The old men revel ln the memo-ries of past exploits, but the isolationist, who "finds him-self a leper" now,knows that at least In the past he has been like a saint. The old men look at the young g i r l s of the present, and sigh, relinquishing with reluctance the pleasures of love. The isolationist, however, looks at the lovers and finds self-righteous pleasure in not being like the others. Both the old men and the isolationist are pitiable, and Souster calls for a violent, brief old age, as "brief as the fluke Matador's/ One golden season". Page can do l i t t l e more for the self-determined isolationist than comment on his ultimate confusion. In "David", 6 Birney has captured the other force in the dichotomy, the need for freedom from society. Very spe-c i f i c a l l y , the two friends climb the mountains to get "from the ruck of the camp, the surly/ Poker, the wrangling, the snoring under the f e t i d / Tents". With perfect formal con-t r o l of the free verse form, the poet follows the ramblings of the young men up the mountainside to the tragic misstep, 5 . P.K.Page, As Ten, As Twenty, (Toronto, 1 9 4 6 ) , p.26. 6 . Earle Birney, David and Other Poems, (Toronto, 1942), p . l . - 60 -and through to the recognition of their ultimate individuality as they confront death with maturity. The need for separa-tion from the society of the lumber camp assumes universal proportions in the metaphor of the mountain climb i t s e l f . Even the mountains, with their imposing permanence, are a barrier to freedom, and the men climb because "mountains for David were meant to see over". The sacrifice of one man's l i f e and another's youth for the ideal of individual freedom seems great Indeed, and the ultimate Irony in the poem is con-tained in the breathless journey back Into the lumber camp and away from the freedom of youth and mountain climbing. Just as living in society creates a constant tension between the need to belong, and the need to be individual and separate, the involvement of love has i t s peculiar ten-sions. The desire to love has i t s deliberate counterpart in the desire to be independent of the loved ones. Man's need for love i s a l l the more poignant in Dorothy Livesay's "Alienation",7 because he has just been deprived of i t . The formalism of the rhymed quatrains creates a cool, sophisti-cated, context, in which total frustration, nevertheless, struggles to gain control. Because love has failed, the questions have no answers; the only known fact i s that the garden lends "you such a radiance,/ Leaving me out". This garden i s golden, exquisitely beautiful, but a r t i f i c i a l , 7. Dorothy Livesay, Selected Poems, (Toronto, 1957), P . 9 . - 61 -because the loss of love has caused a separation to be bridged by neither mind, nor magic. The alienated one stands, "shivering like a tree/ Blind", where the-beloved alone can see. Only love can again evoke a mutual response to the garden. In direct contrast, love creates the prison of annihi-Q lation in Ronald Hambleton's "In Bed". Freed for a moment by the sleep of his beloved, the lover feels "as i f our duality/ Had eclipsed my self". A solution for the problem i s complicated. Since love i s a reality, the only attrac- ~ tive prospect i s "in the perspective/ Of our two eyes' v i -sion", and the decision to continue in the duality of love, at the expense of the loss of self, i s made consciously. The f i n a l comment i s an enlightened acceptance of "the excellent/ Journey travelled/ To a f e r t i l e island". The ambivalence i s clearly delineated, and the choice demands sacrifice. The adolescent, in his own awkward way, i s as aware of the tension between love and freedom as i s the lover. In "Boys and Girls", 9 Anne Wilkinson creates a charming pic-ture of crowing boys who "push/ Into the quivering lake/ The g i r l s they'll kiss next year1!. As the boys are aware of the "phoenix, f i r e and ash/ And new-found agony of the groin, so the g i r l s wear their new plumpness as "awkwardly 8 . Ronald Hambleton, Object and; Event, (Toronto, 1 9 5 3 ) , P . 4 5 . 9 . Anne Wilkinson, The Hangman Ties the Holly, (Toronto, 1 9 5 5 ) , p.45. " ~" - 62 -as the farmer's boy/ His Sunday suit". The real tension i s presented with amused simplicity. The boys "boast", " i n -sult", and "hate" the g i r l s whose bodies, nevertheless, "swim in their veins", while the g i r l s "jeer", "but out of the corners of their eyes/ They look: at them incessantly". The problems of adolescence are not always so uncompli-cated. P.K.Page presents a disturbing picture of a son's growing need to assert himself, in "Only C h i l d " . 1 0 At f i r s t the formal freedom of the poem serves as a contrast to the dutiful identification of the son with the mother, but later i t underwrites his f i n a l , vicious rejection of her influence over him. With a slight suggestion of psychological per-version, the mother and son are referred to impersonally as "he" and "she" throughout the poem, and the dominance which "she" exercise.over him i s terrifying. His future i s de-termined by her conception of i t , and consequently i s as sterile as a photograph "within the frames of her eyes". He rejects his own ambitions in order to become the "noted naturalist of her dreams", and serves his apprenticeship as the puppet of her aspirations, waiting patiently for the fulfillment of himself. The f i n a l self-assertion i s essen-t i a l l y ugly. He catches the birds that she has taught him to name so carefully, wrings "their necks/ b r i t t l e as l i t t l e sticks", and places them unceremoniously in her "wide, ma-10. Page, As Ten, As Twenty, p.40. - 63 -ternal lap". The act establishes his Independence un-questionably, but completely negates a l l vestiges of mater-nal or f i l i a l love in the process. The Canadian poets working in the psychological tra-dition display a special talent for describing the reac-tions to the stultifying tedium to which ordinary working people must subject themselves. The "forced march of Mon-day to Saturday", repeated continuously after the "brief bivouac of Sunday", of P.K.Page's "Stenographers" 1 1, estab-lishes the metaphor of the endless circ l e of activity which keeps people moving through a routine with superb efficiency, but without adequate reason: , ...In their eyes I have seen the pin men of madness in marathon trim race round the track of the stadium pupil. Often "taut as net curtains stretched upon frames", they, nevertheless, move like automatons at the sound of a b e l l , and their tears must find their outlet in the gloom of the vault. The hopelessness of their never-ending tasks dominates the poetic statement. Similarly preoccupied with the clerks' loss of personal identity, Margaret Avison attempts to find some meaning in "Neverness". 1 2 Since "the tissue of our metaphysic c e l l s / No magic window has yet dared reveal", perhaps poetry can 11. Page, As Ten, As Twenty, p.12. 12. Smith, The Book of Canadian Poetry, (1957), p.471. - 64 -provide the necessary insight into the human responses to automation. Like Page's stenographers who are as "efficient as their adding machines", the "thousands merging" in Avison's poem,"snug" in their stereotyped jobes, are l i t t l e more than "human pencils wearing blunt". They take their place in one of "many varnished offices", and eat their lunch "along a thousands counters". The result i s only "dry confusion", chosen by weaklings who are so afraid of their individuality that."privacy i s unadmitted prison". The world i s "lonely" and "unshut" at the same time, and until man recognizes his primitive nature, his "Old Adam", as the centre of meaning, this meaningless repetition w i l l continue. The Impossibility of escaping from the'race o f , l i f e "round the track" i s reflected in other poems in which either careful form or metaphor creates a repetitive cycle with the end and the beginning merging on a single plane, instead of in a more optimistic s p i r a l . In "Waking",13 by P.K.Page, the daily cycle of sleep and wakefulness organizes the poem. The roles of night and day are ironically reversed; sleep gives rise to dreams of love and travel, the products of "sleep's ill n e s s " , while the monotonous routine generally associated with the l u l l of sleep preoccupies the hours of day. The cycle repeats i t s e l f endlessly, and the utter 13. Page, As Ten, as Twenty, p.20. - 65 -monotony Is rendered even more tragic by the recognition that the cycle w i l l never be replaced by another, more exciting one. Using the cyclic metaphor of the l i f e process of the caterpillar, so consciously chosen from the world of nature, Earle Birney includes the people of the farms in this con-cept of man, caught in a circle from which there i s no es-cape, in "Winter Saturday". 1^ Unusually short verses strain the movement through the inevitable process from the beginning to the end of the life[cycle, and the Satur-day night a c t i v i t i e s of the farmers are rendered without humour or passion. A l l of the movements are Identified with those of the caterpillar. They "emerge" from their snug homes, "hatch" from their cars, "flutter" to a movie, and in due time "throb" through the dance. Ironically, howe-ver, the butterfly can emerge from his cocoon when the cycle i s complete, but the round of human activity does not afford an escape. The country people: ...must go lonely drowsy back through ghosts the wind starts from the waiting snow. They admit that the town i s "less than i t s glow", and this disappointment i s but part of the human process from which there i s , apparently, no escape. Choosing the disciplines of both form and metaphor, 14. Birney, The S t r a i t of Anian, p . l 6 . - 6 6 -LePan interprets life, in the same cyclic vision in "Finale".* In the f i r s t of the five stanzas he establishes the formal pattern of a cir c l e , by beginning and ending the stanza with a short verse, "always the path leads back", and then a l l o -wing the verses of the stanza to expand in length until the centre, and then reduce gradually to the f i n a l , short one. The cyclic form of the following stanzas i s not as rig i d , although s t i l l apparent. In each stanza then, he establi-shes the concrete metaphor of some individual whose a c t i v i -ties must end where they began, a "spy", a "spider", a "coun-terfeiter", an invalid who takes refuge in his sickness, and a lover on a holiday. As i s usual with LePan, he uses the very cycle which has been consistently pessimistic, in an optimistic way: But there steel-bright necessity. Out of those notes, That sound so improbable, to weld a music like a school-boy's song, Out of those metals to hammer, to conquer, the new and strenuous song. The Inevitability of the cycle, however, makes LePan's v i -sion consistent with that of the other Canadian psychological poets. The imagery of LePan's poem already indicates that not a l l the psychological poetry of Canada deals with the human responses to the ordinary situations of l i f e . The extra-15. Douglas LePan, The Wounded Prince and Other Poems, (London, 1948), p.34. " ' ' - " - 67 -ordinary experiences of sickness, deformity, catastrophe, and perversion have produced the startling, brief poems of P.K.Page and Phyllis Webb, and some of the best narra-tive poetry of E.J.Pratt. In a l l of these poems, the per-version or the catastrophe i s secondary, and the individual human responses to the occasion form the meaningful centre. None of them are merely sensational, although they do not avoid the serious problems of hypochondria or sadism. Miss Page's observation of the reaction to sickness in "The Sick"-*-0 ^ s expressed in concrete metaphors, chosen eclectically, but dominated by the imagery of nature which must preoccupy the thoughts of the sick who are so cruelly subjected to an unnatural existence. Their eyes float " l i k e water flowers on a stagnant river", they are "emp-tied out as hoof-prints where the cattle go", with "heads like dandelions", "fresh as roses' stems", and as "pale as oysters". They feel an unwanted sense of individuality in the sickness of their bodies which are "single as a dart". At the same time, their individuality cannot be expressed, for i t i s "yet...multiple". The ordered hospital world Is reflected in the careful organization of the poem; each stanza presents one image in one complete sentence, and then moves on to the next one without an obvious link. In the "coal hold dark" of the walls of stone, the sick are 16. Page, As Ten, As Twenty, p.33. - 68 -forced to live myths, and they never come to the positive understanding of pain expressed by Phyllis Webb in several poems. In one of Miss Webb's later poems, "Breaking",1''7 the reason for being "whole or beautiful or good" is "to be 18 absolutely broken", like Christ. Similarly, in "Pain", the needle-edged dart of Page's metaphor "throws a bridge of value to belief". Through the experience of pain, "simple as razors:, symbolized by the "bird of death", meaning i s made possible. The bridge of value connects the pain from which a l l beautiful things are born, and the "contemporary pain", causing the eyes to focus to "cubes and lights", makes pos-sible a valid reconstruction of experience. In Pratt's poetry, some kind of mammoth upheaval often results in a total reorganization of values which demands of the individual complete, decisive involvement. Because the scope of Pratt's poetry i s so much more comprehensive than that of any other Canadian poet, the attempt to com-pare his poetry with that of his contemporaries i s very d i f f i c u l t . Indeed, as Northrop Prye says: "he has to be read by himself or not at a l l " . " ^ His themes encompass 1 7 . Phyllis Webb, The Sea i s Also a Garden, (Toronto,- 1 9 6 2 ) , p.4. 1 8 . E.W.Mandel, Gael Turnbull, Phyllis Webb, Trio, (Montreal, 1 9 5 4 ) , uopaged. 1 9 . Prye, "Poetry", The Arts In Canada, p.85. - 69 -most of the themes of the social and war poets, and are certainly f i l l e d with the psychological complexities of his time. His vision encompasses a l l of humanity as i t struggles against the relentless forces of nature. Although a brief examination of the psychological responses in two narrative poems, "The T i t a n i c " 2 0 and "Brebeuf and His Brethren", 2 1 does not presume to approximate a thorough study, the ambiguities of the heroic in man which appear when he Is confronted :rby the extremes of destiny may be seen more clearly. In "The Titanic", Pratt gives'full expression to the raging conflict which results either in acts of odious cowardice or astounding courage, when individuals are con-fronted with necessity: Out on the water was the same display Of fear and self-control as on the deck— Challenge and hesitation and delay, The quick return, the w i l l to save, the race Of snapping oars to put the realm of space Between the h a l f - f i l l e d lifeboats and the wreck. The acts of cowardice are expressed with diction implying their mindless motivation. The stoker springs, beastlike, "to tear" the l i f e jacket from another man's back, and the woman's "jewelled f i s t " strikes wildly at the man whose presence in the lifeboat may threaten her own safety. The man, himself, beyond reason, clutches at the rim of the boat 20. Frye, E.J.Pratt, p.212. 21. Ibid., p.244. - 70 -with no thought but the terror of possible death. When the passengers and crew confront the problem rationally, however, they prove to be truly heroic. As i r -rationality motivates "those scenes where order f a i l s " , and men are cowards, calmness in the fact of disaster accompanies the heroic acts. A woman "wrapped her coat/ around her maid and placed her in the boat", and stands firmly beside her husband, to be with him in death as she has been in l i f e . "A boy of ten/.../piled/ The inches on his stature", as he gives his place to a Magyar woman and her child, and faces his doom squarely. After the new bridegroom places his. bride into a lifeboat and waves good-bye, men come, "this time to borrow/ Nothing but courage from his calm, cool face". The same reason which has invented a f a l l i b l e ma-chine can expand to heroic proportions when -it combines with the "hazards of the heart" in the presence of super-human opposition. The abnormality of sadism, and the possibility for human courage in Its [presence, supply the material for "Bre-beuf and His Brethren". The sadism of the Canadian-Indians, as they torture their victims, i s far more sordid than the behaviour of beasts: ...He knew that when A winter pack of wolves brought down a stag There was no waste of time between the leap And the business click upon the jugular. Such was the forthright honesty in death Among the brutes. - 71 -When Brebeuf and his brethren become the victims of the indignities of torture, they find the source of their courage in the human w i l l : "pain brimmed over the cup and the w i l l was called/ To stand the test of the coals". But passivity and calmness are not identical in Pratt's view of the heroic. Brebeuf endures, half rebuking the Indians' autrocities, and half defying them, giving them, f i n a l l y , "roar for roar". Metaphorically he becomes a "lion at bay", and i t seems as " i f the might of a Roman were joined to the cause/ of Judea". By now his behaviour has become that of an epic hero, and, once again, the greatest heroism i s produced by the greatest test. This poem, like "The Titanic", ends in ultimate v i c -tory, in spite of the physical defeat. The Canadian poetry inspired by an interest in the psy-chological subtleties of human responses to l i f e i s much more universal than that which is concerned with the specific social and p o l i t i c a l problems of Canada. Although the poetic setting i s often determinedly Canadian, the statement expands far beyond the provincialism of city or nation when the i n -ner heart i s actually exposed. The fearful awareness that l i f e i s at once too absorbing and too elusive to allow the fu l l e s t development of Individuality i s surely the experience of anyone alive in an enlightened age. The dreadful know-ledge that there i s no escape from the perpetual ebb and flow remains in constant conflict with the equally dreadful fate of accepting a position in the stream without a struggle. - 72 -The mythic overtones of the cyclic metaphors of the poetry concerned with the specificlproblem of flux extend i t ra-dically beyond the immediate situation and into the more satisfying universal realms. Although the poetry concerned with the psychology of the human mind is not exclusively optimistic, i t rarely creates a world which merely ends with a whimper. The courageous reaction to both the acceptance and the defiance of l i f e ' s challenges would indicate that Canadians are not, in fact, 'hollow men', with 'headpieces f i l l e d with straw'. The poetry abounds with the imagery of nature, but nature wielded exclusively by man,- even when he i s lying 1 on a sick bed. Life may force him into a pattern, but i t cannot ultimately conquer his humanity. If the poets react negatively to l i f e , they react positively to the Individual man attempting to cope with i t . The forms chosen to express the psychological poetry are new. Except where ironic contrast with the undisciplined ramblings of the mind i s intended, the verse i s free, and the stanza form i s determined by the organic statement, ra-ther than by external formalism. Subtle suggestions, typical of the introspective approach, rather than bold condemna-tions or affirmations, are characteristic of a l l of the poets. Self-consciously aware that they are presenting the mental processes of modern they, they are also, by very definition, including their own. The result i s comprehensive, yet highly personal poetry. CHAPTER IV MYTHOPOEIC POETRY Mythology has provided a fascinating source of material for poets in any age. Even ,when gods arid heroes have wan-dered ornamentally in and out of poems, they have added their element of charm, but when their ac t i v i t i e s have provided the fundamental structure for a poetic statement, the result has been an interpretation of the contemporary society in terms of archetypal structures which organize the imagery and diction. The use of myth as structure in Canadian poetry asserts i t s e l f firmly by the middle of this century, but i s not controlled with precision and confidence until after 1955, when poets like Jay Macpherson, James Reaney, and Margaret Avison begin to display a concrete understanding of the pos s i b i l i t i e s of mythology for their creative endeavours. The poetry which can be called mythopoeic before this time experiments with archetypes, consciously attempting to avoid ornamental myth. In this poetry the seasons play their part in the f e r t i l i t y cycle of nature, as the larger context for an annual dying and reviving god; the labyrinths and mon-sters, traditionally associated with the hero quest, often become the structural metaphors; the total Identification of a l l things with each other, leading eventually to an enligh-tened rebirth into a glorified existence, i s suggested in many - 74 -poems of the 'forties and early ' f i f t i e s . This experimen-ta l process i s a necessary preparation for the conscious application of myth to the concept of modern man which pre-occupies so much of the most recent Canadian poetry. The mythos of spring, as the symbol of rebirth in a constantly renewing cycle, i s consistently optimistic and. attractive. In "Poem for Spring", 1 Dudek: focuses upon the sudden surge of life/experienced in the spring, but maintains the context of a definite and eternal cycle, winterlis but sleeping, "hungry and dreamful/ of unforgotten spring", ma-king spring the focal point of past and future, as well as the promise of continuity. In verses which alternate rhy-thmically between extreme opposites in length, a new birth into a f e r t i l e year emerges from the broken belly of "Mother Earth". As 'Mother Earth' promises the rebirth of l i f e , so the archetypal problem of plucking the perfect apples before they " f a l l to the ground/ wrinkled", symbolizes the problem of capturing that l i f e at i t s peak. P.K.Page, whose early poetry i s generally not overtly mythopoeic, writes a poem of spring in which myth struc-tures a personification of spring in terms of a male figure. In "Spring" , 2 the!>end of winter and the beginning of spring 1. Louis Dudek, Irving Layton, Raymond Souster, Cerberus, (Toronto, 1 9 5 2 ) , p.15. 2. Page, As Ten, As Twenty, p.23. - 75 -a r e represented as a c o l d man, g r a d u a l l y warming to the newness of l i f e . In the t h i r d stanza, s p r i n g can f i n a l l y come, because a l l that he "had c l u t c h e d , held t i g h t l y l o c k e d / behind the f o s s i l frame/ d i s s o l v e s " . The s e l f - a d o r a t i o n , i m p l i e d by h i s a c t i o n of 11 k n e e l i n g i n w e l t e r s of n a r c i s s u s " a t the b e g i n n i n g of the poem, becomes a t o t a l i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of h i m s e l f w i t h e v e r y t h i n g around him as the poem progresses " u n t i l he i s the garden--heart, the sun/ and a l l h i s body s o i l " . The poem de l v e s i n t o the problems of depth psychology when, a f t e r t h i s t o t a l i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h the sun and the s o i l , the conscious experience of s p r i n g i s s t i l l "something r a r e and p e r f e c t , y e t unknown". The t o t a l i t y r e s i d e s i n the unconscious, and can o n l y be understood through a c t u a l ex-p e r i e n c e . F o r James Reaney's "The Red H e a r t " , 3 the annual c y c l e of the seasons p r o v i d e s an i r o n i c c o n t r a s t w i t h the c y c l e of human l i f e which might be " ( S i x t y w i n t e r s , and f i f t y -n ine f a l l s , / F i f t y - e i g h t summers, and f i f t y - s e v e n s p r i n g s ) " , and w i l l then end i n the grave, while other l i v e s and " s t i l l -l i v i n g suns and s t a r s " trample the l a s t remains of h i s e x i s -t e n c e. The sun combines the c y c l e s of time and e t e r n i t y as i t hangs from a "branch of Time'.' on the " t r e e of E t e r n i t y " . The human he a r t , however, i s the " o n l y l e a f upon i t s t r e e 3 . James Reaney, The Red Heart, (Toronto, 1 9 4 9 ) , p.14. - 7 6 -of blood", subject to individual decay and ultimate destruc-tion at the hands of the sun which w i l l drag tiim, along with "gods, goddesses and parliament buildings/ Time, Pate, gramophones and Man/ To a gray grave". The vision has l i t t l e hope for his own l i f e , but establishes a firm belief in a continuing existence for the universe^. This theme i s repeated in a very different kind of cyclic poem, "A Child Can Clock",^ by Anne Wilkinson. In-stead of envisioning man as having a heart which merely grows heavy with age, like Reaney1s, she presents the whole cycle of a man's l i f e from childhood to boyhood, through adoles-cence, and on to maturity, where i t i s his responsibility to grapple with the "sleeping dragons" of l i f e . At the end of the poem he i s old, and "counterclockwise into clown/ he tumbles on" to a determinedly f i n a l death. The clockwise motion of the cycle i s disturbed for a human who, unlike the "flighty seed" which soars, "then f a l l s to birth", soars and then f a l l s to death. Unlike man's cycle, which ends with his death, the puff of dandelion i s blown Into l i f e by man's dying breath and achieves i t s potential rebirth. The movement of nature corresponds to the pattern of a gyre. The words "clock", "arc", "counterclockwise", and "d i a l " suggest curves and circles, while suggestions of ascension, "climbing", "high as noon", "soars", combine with these to establish the gyra-4. Wilkinson, The Hangman Ties the Holly, p.21. - 77 -ting movements consistently throughout the poem. The nine unrhymed triplets, with a -general rhythmic pattern of three irregular feet in each verse, create an unmistakable unity of circular construction, providing an a r t i s t i c framework for the seasonal myth. E l i Mandel displays a comprehensive understanding of the archetypes which are useful for modern poetry. The fer-t i l i t y r i t e of autumn, in preparation for winter and the forthcoming spring, is the subject matter of the third of his "Minotaur Poems".5 The mystery of the "fierce masks", the "voices", and the "signs" of the r i t u a l i s constantly undermined by the "young ones", who sneer at talk "of a dying, god", and, snickering, wait "for the time/ when the women undressed". The overwhelming awe of an i n i t i a t i o n into something huge and mysterious i s never mitigated by a hint of reassurance in the poem. The visionary birds live in "rocks and screams", startling the poem with the unex-pected use of "screams" instead of the expected streams. As the poem proceeds, however, an understanding of the mea-ning of the myth emerges. Through the persuasions of "the one who brought me here", his partner in the r i t u a l , he learns the difference between procreation and the revelation of l i f e , as well as that between belief and a conscious i n -volvement with the risk of believing. Por him, at least, the 5. Mandel, Trio, unpaged. - 78 -dying and reviving god of the seasons i s a believable en-t i t y , i f a demanding one, and although the le&son has been learned, " i t i s hard to feel free of accusation". While the poems structured '.around the cyclic myths of nature follow a f a i r l y consistent pattern of undisturbed optimism for humanity, i f not for individual man, those incorporating the more intricate vision of the quest myth cannot be compared with each other as readily. The laby-rinthine obstacles, the monsters to conquer, the levia-thans to experience, and the ultimate apocalyptic goal where the exalted human mind i s at the circumference of a l l exis-tence, together provide a f e r t i l e poetic reservoir of moods and symbols to be selected and combined in a variety of ways within the general, implied context of this mythic pattern. The psychological and literary theories of modern myth c r i t i c s can be applied to these poems, establishing their relationship to the total myth more easily than to each other. Participation in the kind of collective'.-unconscious presupposed by Carl Jung in his literary criticism involving archetypes, orders the poem by Anne Wilkinson,entitled somewhat extravagantly, " '•< I was born a boy, and a maiden, a plant and a bird, and a darting f i s h in the sea' - Em-pedocles". 6 The poet lives "in only one of innumerable 6 . Wilkinson, The Hangman Ties the Holly, p.2. - 79 -rooms" to which he has the right of access, "for mine i s a commonwealth of blood, red/ And sluiced with recollec-tion" . The voyage from a general identification with a l l things, to peerage with the "Olympic Sire", i s not fraught with mythical dragons to be conquered, but i s rather an evolutionary journey from the " g i l l s / of my youth*, through time, to the point where he stands beside God as a man, "knowing he swam in mud". The quest for the "supersonic moment" i s s t i l l "pitched an octave higher than the heart's belief", and i s therefore not complete, but the regularity of the four-versed stanzas emphasizes the constancy of the quest through the process of l i f e to the ultimate revela-tion of meaning. The'innumerable rooms',which comprise the evolutionary labyrinth of Miss Wilkinson's poem, provide the Imagery for the labyrinth in the f i r s t of E l i Mandel's "Minotaur Poems".7 He has lost the "door or sash" to these rooms, and wanders endlessly, finding janitors sweeping up brains, empty clothes crawling away like cowards, and shining bones in wastebaskets, a l l symbols of a decadent c i v i l i z a t i o n . But the true hero must make his own way out of the laby-rinth, and after significantly ascending "several stories/ In the staired and eyed h a l l " , he f i n a l l y meets the monster who must be eliminated before the quest can continue. The 7. Mandel, Trio, unpaged. - 80 -• i poem ends before the resolution of the meeting of the hero and the "man with the face of a bull" i s made clear, but the mythic structure of the poem's twelve verses is unmistakable. Labyrinths and dragons are a l l part of the archetypal hero's experience, and must be dealt with personally and effectively before he can be considered a hero. In his tribute to "Emily Carr", 8 Wilfred Watson, in a brief l y r i c poem, presupposes a time of t r i a l which the arti s t herself has spent in the'archetypal leviathan. Un-able to hold her, however, the leviathan "spewed" her "forth/ In a great vomit on the coasts of eternity". With her entry into the universe, the wilderness becomes ordered, as the apocalyptic universe must necessarily be ordered. No unruly sea, but an emerald "river of l i f e 1 ' accompanies her steps as she brings nature to i t s fulfillment in her art. Perhaps the praise i s somewhat exaggerated as "every bush" i s rendered "an apocalypse of leaf", but the mythic intent of the poem i s clear. The quest i s for beauty in art, and the ar t i s t is sub-jected to the usual heroic t r i a l s . Reconciling a l l things in a f i n a l , satisfying experience i s as integral a part of the quest myth as the labyrinthine obstacles and leviathans. In "Poem in Three Parts",9 Anne Wilkinson creates an atmostphere of constant, mutual involve-8 . Wilfred Watson, Friday's Child, (London, 1 9 5 5 ) , P . 5 5 . 9 . Wilkinson, The Hangman, Ties the Holly, p.52. - 81 -ment which makes the f i n a l identification of a l l things, and a l l time, possible in the third part of the poem. In the f i r s t part, the crowds are "behind", "about", "crow-ding", and "together we consider/ The merit of stone". In the second section, the "few quiet men" are "above-below the din", and, fi n a l l y , "the stone in my hand/ IS my hand". Measured against the endurance of the stone, "the l i t t l e span/ A miser's rule/ Inched out for man" causes nothing but resentment, and from this tension mythology Is created. Because man wants to be unique and claim for "human seed/ A special dispensation", various religions with their accom-panying symbols are Invented. In this way, man can be placed within a continuity which can give meaning to his existence. The "few quiet men", unable to cope with a superimposed mythology, reveal a truer myth in the total identification of man with the universe, rather than in separating him from i t in some way. "Monday's child" goes through the vegetable and mineral cycles, rising higher up the mandallc ladder un-t i l he becomes involved with the most elevated imagery of the heavenly bodies.. This experience w i l l culminate in an apocalypse, as "Sunday's elements disperse/ And rise in a i r " . The stone and the hand, separate in the f i r s t section, are, in fact, the same thing at the conclusion of the poem, and indeed, include by then "tracings of/ A once greenblooded frond", as well as the elements of time and space. The statement of idenfication i s made possible through a mytholo -- 82 -g i z i n g of the e v o l u t i o n a r y process of l i f e , u n t i l e v e r y t h i n g i s seen as the same process, not merely d i s t i n c t i v e p a r t s of a vaguely r e l a t e d u n i v e r s e . The union of a l l things' w i t h i n a s i n g l e framework, whether i t be an ark, or a l e v i a t h a n , i n p r e p a r a t i o n f o r the d e s t i n e d apocalypse, i s an a r c h e t y p a l concept expressed i n v a r i o u s m y t h i c a l modes. LePan chooses the Canadian bl u e heron as h i s symbol of the anagogic f i g u r e i n "Image of S i -l e n u s " . 1 0 The heron i s : . . . l i k e one of the images of S i l e n u s . They are made to open i n the middle, and I n s i d e them are f i g u r e s of the gods. When the heron a r r i v e s , he i s s i g n i f i c a n t l y a t home i n the "brown shadows of evening", i n the "moss-soft shadowy t r e e s " , and i n the " f i s h - h a u n t e d weeds and the l i l y - p a d s " . When he leaves, he f i n d s , l i k e the ark, a r e s t i n g p l a c e which " q u i e t l y f l o a t s " , and again, l i k e the ark, i s "everywhere p e r f e c t l y sealed and s e c r e t " . Although the world wears a mask w i t h "the a i r of having seen i t a l l b e f o r e " , i n the r e a l and s u f f e r i n g world of LePan's poem, the f i g u r e s , are not r e a l l y the m a j e s t i c f i g u r e s of gods and men i n " r o l e s t h a t men have p i c t u r e d f o r themselves", but r a t h e r the "shrunken f i g u r e s of d e s i r e " . They have not been changed from t h e i r o r i g i n a l appearance i n time and space, and are, 1 0 . LePan, The Wounded P r i n c e , p . 3 6 . - 8 3 -therefore, "not heroic, f i l l i n g a l l the sky,/ Miniatures rather, toys in a toy shop window". A l l the heroic and noble deeds of history are reduced to a brief moment of modern revelation, limited by the "invisible barrier" of glass. They themselves, "the puppets, have looked out/ Like sick children with their faces pressed to the window", and their voices crying for the apocalyptic transfiguration which they know should be theirs, are faint and "far off", "dissonant, confused". The flexible, free verse of the descriptive introduc-tion to the "Image of Silenus" shifts to consciously rhythmic stanzas in rhymed couplets, as the "ill-assorted choir", actually the history of humanity, raises i t s voice in a hymn of complaint against their present state. The bird, unifying them in a conscious, formal manner, may even be a "blue mirage,/ To waken desire and helpless rage", and the compactness of the form scatters into free verse as the "song scatters" at the end. The answer to the song is inarticulate, but surges like a "ground swell", "gathering everywhere a vagrant strength". The answer never arrives at the"shores of speech", but dies away like a sigh. The heron, "with wings stretched wide as love", disappears in order to prepare in secret for i t s destiny, the re-entry Into the "realm of promised good". The vague disappointment of the f i n a l sec-tion Is reflected In the short, uneven verse structure, pre-senting a shadowy future when the grinning mask of unreality - 84 -w i l l be permanently removed. Until then, the world must be content with but a l i t t l e portion of the mythic scheme for the universe. An ironic inversion of the apocalyptic vision appears in "The C o f f i n s " , 1 1 by James Reaney, and the second of E l i Mandel's "Minotaur Poems".-^ The archetypal leviathan be-comes a "coffin", or a "submarine", in Reaney's poem, and the journey of the quest is undertaken "without periscope or com-pass", and with only the dim knowledge that "someday they must flow/ Into the f i n a l harbour". What awaits them there, however, is not the transformed world or the exalted reward of the usual apocalypse, but rather the "gray shore/ Where the Lord shall weigh/ Men's-wicked souls on Doomsday". The rhymed couplets of this brief poem are f i l l e d with gloomy imagery and symbolism. The leviathan sails beneath "gray-green old graveyards", and navigates the "wormy seas of the earth" with but one "lone sailor", uniformed in a shroud, to navigate with dim knowledge. In Mandel's poem as well, the apocalypse, like the f i n a l perspective of the poem, is inverted. Everything in the poem is deliberately distorted. The birds " f a l l like rocks", i n -stead of soaring "along the edge of blue air" , and the only 11. Reaney, The Red Heart, p.60. 12. Mandel, Trio, unpaged. - 85 -sunlight i s inside the workshop, while outside i s nothing but "cold a i r " . The "framed and engined mind" of the fa-ther i s not above the dream of Daedalus as he spends his time "building a shining wing", and as Daedalus succeeded in flying, so the father succeeds. Within the curious, i n -verted context of the poem, however, he f a l l s into the sun, achieving with a downward motion that which should necessarily elevate him. The conclusion i s a dubious one, and remains totally within the realm of the imagination. The ironies within both poems are obvious because of their deviation from the archetypal patterns which give the poems their actual structure. If myth In Canadian poetry i s somewhat unsophisticated and awkward, the reason may be contained in LePan's "A Country Without a Mythology".13 The cycles of myth are not merely endless cycles of repetition, but are rather conscious move-ments through time to a grand conclusion. In Canada, however, "time i s worth nothing", for on a journey: ...nothing alters. Mile after mile of tangled struggling roots, Wild-rice, stumps, weeds, that clutch at the canoe, Wild birds hysterical In tangled trees. He examines the possibility for finding the primitive Imyth in Canadian history, but the natives are "savage people", "clumsily constructed", and as yet recognize no "monuments 13. LePan, The Wounded Prince, p.11. - 8 6 -or landmarks" which could be i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o a u t h e n t i c , p e r s o n a l myth. Because t h i s country has "no law - even no atmosphere", a r t of any kind i s i n c r e d i b l y d i f f i c u l t t o produce, and LePan may be coming v e r y c l o s e to the problem of d i s t i n c t i v e n e s s i n Canadian l i t e r a t u r e In t h i s poem. A vague h i n t of hope does creep i n : Sometimes - perhaps at the t e n t a t i v e f a l l of t w i -l i g h t — A b e l i e f w i l l s e t t l e t h a t w a i t i n g around the bend Are s a n c t i t i e s of c h i l d h o o d , that m e l t i n g b i r d s W i l l s i n g him i n t o a l i m p i d g r a c i o u s Presence. T h i s hope i s , however, not i n s p i r e d by v i t a l i t y and c e r t a i n t y , and the poem ends w i t h "not a s i g n , no emblem i n the sky". In LePan 1s view then, myth must be imported i n t o Canada, s i n c e i t cannot be d e r i v e d from i t , and an ensuing a b s t r a c -t i o n i s i n e v i t a b l e . H i s own mythopoeic poetry, f a r s u p e r i o r t o t h a t of any of h i s immediate contemporaries, employs a few c o n s c i o u s l y chosen Canadian images, but depends upon the mythology of Europe. Because l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m i n t h i s c entury i s so v e r y mythfconscious, the i m a g i n a t i v e leap from the study of p o e t r y t o the study of p o e t r y as myth can be made without any apparent c r i t i c a l i n c o n g r u i t y . Once the common archetypes of c y c l e s and journeys, o b s t a c l e s and t r i a l p e r i o d s , and other m y t h i c a l and q u a s i - m y t h i c a l phenomena have been c o d i f i e d by prominent lk c r i t i c s such as Northrop F r y e , as e s s e n t i a l p a r t s of the 14. Northrop Prye, Anatomy of C r i t i c i s m , ( P r i n c e t o n , 1 9 5 7 ) . - 87 -total structure of myth, almost any poem can be considered part of the pattern: Once you expose yourself to these designs or images, you soon find that anything you read arranges i t s e l f around them as — iron f i l i n g s around a magnet.3-5 In this sense, then, isolating fifteen or twenty poems for a study of myth in any particular period, because they have an obvious mythic structure, appears to be a gross over-simpflication. The social poems of Page and LePan, with their endless circles of monotony, can be considered a kind of ironic inversion of myth. The psychological problem of i n -dividual identity in Birney, Avison and others, where the activity directed towards a specific goal i s constantly thwar-ted by l i f e i t s e l f , can readily be fit t e d into the quest pat-tern. Perhaps the war i t s e l f is just a mythical monster whidi humanity encounters in the labyrinth of l i f e , after having undergone appropriate r i t u a l preparation for the battle. Only LePan's war poems are actually structured on this conception, however. At the same time, the multitudinous references to classical mythology in Birney's poems, and to Christian myth In Daniells' 1, are often less ornamental than structural, even when they do not correspond to established patterns. Because the Canadian poets after 1955 are more conscious of 'these designs and images', the mythic structures of their 1 5 . James Reaney, "Frye's Magnet", Tamarack Review, No. 3 3 , P.73-- 8 8 -poetry can be more clearly described than those of their 1 ft predecessors. Jay Macpherson's The Boatman, for example, is a dramatic reorganization of her random poems into a clear approximation of the total vision of Prye. The seventy-nine poems in this volume are arranged in such a manner that they move from innocence through hamartia to catastrophe and up again to a "general assumption of post-dated innocence in which everyone lives happily ever a f t e r " . ^ James Reaney1s A Suit of N e t t l e s 1 8 i s a b r i l l i a n t poetic satire whose organi-zing principle is the revolution of the twelve months of the year, with i t s appropriate imagery and mythopoeic implica-tions. In The Kildeer and Other Plays, 1^ he produces drama-tic verse which moves very definitely to ;an apocalypse, a l -though slavish identification with established c r i t i c a l con-cepts i s outdistanced by originality and wit. Margaret Avison 1s Winter Sun 2 u works within the realms of cycles and ultimate visions with a freedom which dares.to question l i f e as seen In this perspective. Nevertheless, the poetry of the early ' f i f t i e s can be 1 6 . Jay Macpherson, The Boatman, (Toronto, 1 9 5 7 ) . 1 7 . Prye, Anatomy of Criticism, p . l 6 2 . 1 8 . James Reaney, A Suit of Nettles, (Toronto, 1 9 5 8 ) . 1.9. James Reaney, The Kildeer and Other Plays, (Toronto, 1 9 6 2 ) . 2 0 . Margaret Avison, Winter Sun, (Toronto, i 9 6 0 ) . - 89 -significantly isolated for a discussion of i t s mythopoeic structures, because a select group of poets and c r i t i c s in Canada consciously turn to a constantly expanding mythology for the form and content of their creative work. Because this poetry occurs at the beginning of an experimental phase, the themes are often repetitive and stereotyped, the imagery does not quite achieve a perfect harmony between i t s c l a s s i -cal sources and i t s Canadian setting, and the diction occa-sionally falters. The fact that i t i s attempting a mythic process, however, places the poetry into the stream of con-temporary English literary development, aspiring to univer-sal themes, drawing on a vast resource of imagery, and em-ploying an accompanying freshness of diction. Because an understanding of the underlying structure demands a highly developed intellect, the mythopoeic poetry i s constantly threatened by complicated, allusive obscurity. In spite of these problems, the poetry of this period attains a higher level of a r t i s t i c expression than that of any preceding Canadian poetry. CONCLUSION The deliberate selection of the themes of social pro-test, reaction to the war, interest in human psychology, and myth, has been determined by the total poetry written in Canada during the years 1935 - 1955, and the division of the themes into relevant categories has been dictated by the poems themselves. The startling parallelism between these main themes and the chief aspects of contemporary Canadian l i f e demands the unequivocal evaluation that this poetry i s singularly conscious of i t s immediate environment. Without exception, the poets share Wordsworth's 'heightened awareness' of the world around them, and translate their observations with f a i t h f u l consistency. The result does not furnish an historical account of the events of the period, as much as i t leaves a record of the actual reactions of Canadians to the turbulence of this twenty year period. Very definitely conditioned by the historical context, the major themes of the poetry bear no more resemblance to each other than do the events of this segment of time, fraught by the extremes of poverty and affluence, war and peace, ten-. sion and security, mass:',industrializatlon and mass intellec-tuallsm. The sequence of the poetic themes follows the chronology of the historical events, growing not out of i t s e l f , - 91 -but rather out of the response to the moment. The protest poetry of the late 'thirties explores the deplorable social conditions of that time, but weakens to somewhat plaintive whimperings in later pursuits of the theme, when the society i s no longer as dramatically in need of reorganization. Later, the reactions to the war grow out of the war i t s e l f , and not out of the preceding passion for social order. The vivid descriptions and passionate entreaties of Livesay, Souster, Birney, Dudek, Anderson,and the other social poets, turn to tenderness and reassurance in their war poetry. In the same way, the work of poets like Page, Webb, and Birney, concerned with the complexities of human psychology, i s de-scriptive of the individuals living in a disillusioned post-war world, and is not merely a late development of those poems which so poignantly record the collective reaction to a terrifying, sometimes meaningless, sometimes id e a l i s t i c war. Its chief psychological preoccupation with the ordinary t r i a l s of l i f e makes only a chronological connection with the war poetry possible. In the same way, the myth poetry of Wilkinson, Watson, Webb, LePan, Macpherson, and Reaney i s very definitely a product of i t s own time. Although the mythopoeic concern with human endeavour and i t s cycles of sin and redemption incorporates, and in fact, unifies a l l of the themes which preceded i t , this poetry i s more charac-t e r i s t i c of i t s environment than of the poetry preceding i t . - 9 2 -A l l of these poets are young, and the horrors of war and economic insecurity are chiefly historical facts to them. Their world has i t s peculiar aura of intellectual and econo-mic security, while yet conditioned by the context of scien-t i f i c experimentation which is stretching the human imagina-tion to the wildest possible limits. The turn to mythology for meaning in the ' f i f t i e s is as natural as i s the turn to Marx in the 'thirties. The uneven quality of the total work of each poet, and the extreme variety of excellence among the poets dea-ling with the same themes, contributes to the general fact that the poetry of this ttrenty year period i s a loosely con-nected group of fragments, rather than inevitable parts of a stream of poetry. E.J.Pratt, the one poet of this period who distinguishes himself from a l l of his contemporaries in the total statement of his poetry, does not provide a focal point for the general discussion of the poetry of his time. Although he is not as clearly superior, nor separate, as Northrop Prye would have readers believe, Pratt's a b i l i t y to universalize a very particular'.historical moment, whether i t be concerned with the founding of a country, the failure of man's inventions, the description of a simple natural phenomenon, or l i f e , or death, i s more consistently excellent than that of any other Canadian poet. His failure to mani-pulate the varieties and subtleties of verse forms convincingly, - 9 3 -however, limits the amount of unqualified praise which may be lavished upon his total work. Pratt's poems, once read, are d i f f i c u l t to forget.- They combine a sharp eye, a learned mind, and a highly developed sensibility, with wit and con-fidence. In his exploration of a unique vision of the strug-gle between the forces symbolized by humanity and nature, the popular themes of the other Canadian poets find a subordinate place. Por Pratt, these important themes are but fragmentary parts of a unified vision, not shared by the other poets. Earle Birney, whose poetry, like Pratt's> extends through -this literary period, expresses a l l of the major themes, but with an inconsistency which mars his total achieve-ment. His social and war poetry combines the emotional res-ponses of the people actually involved, with deftly chosen imagery and diction, creating an intensely Involved vision, usually conveying a firm belief that man w i l l eventually t r i -umph over opposition. At times the reader's emotions are carefully manipulated until he becomes involved in the univer-sal responsibilities of choice, and at other times, the same technique i s comparatively ineffectual. His technical experi-mentation often results in a complexity which sometimes proves to be intellectually stimulating, and sometimes t r i -v i a l . P r o l i f i c , versatile, and sensitive, Birney cannot, however, be depended upon to produce poetry consistently su-perior to that of other poets who could not approximate his - 94 -best work. The most important poets of. the 'Montreal Group', Du-dek, Klein, Layton, and Anderson, display this quality of uneven variety, so characteristic of the period. Their relationship with each other has fluctuated between friend-ship and antagonism, as freely as their poetry has wavered between excellence and mediocrity. No single attitude to-wards Canadian l i f e has proceded from this unique, isolated, excitingly varied city, and although most of the poets are identified with a university, their standards of excellence are based on varying c r i t e r i a . Dudek has been more useful as a c r i t i c of Canadian poetry than as an actual creator. His clear understanding of the problems involved in being a Canadian poet has made his evaluations perceptive and authoritative. More than any of the other Montreal poets, he has followed, rather than led,., in new expressions of poetic insight. His publications are pervaded by a keen awareness of his surroundings and the work of his contemporaries. The poems are a sensitive com-bination of the earthy realism of the Montreal poets, and the controlled emotion of the academic poets of Canada. The ob-servations of his social statements are conveyed in vivid, sometimes vulgar, imagery and diction. The intellectual con-tent is not reflected in complicated techniques, as in B i r -ney 's poetry, but rather in a deep comprehension of the prob-- 95 -lems of l i f e . As with most academic poets, his creative efforts are peripheral to his scholarly preoccupations, but the products, though few, are worthy of intellectual con-sideration. Klein stands mid-way between the controlled vision of Dudek's, and the reckless abandon of Layton's poetry. His intensely personal involvement with the philosophical and psychological implications of belonging to a minority group makes him unusually well equipped to express the problem of individual adjustment to the world. Historical events serve rather as a context for his poetry than as a reason for i t s creation, and help in expressing his profound aware-ness of the struggle between idealism and reality. Although Klein, too, i s an academic poet, the controlling force be-hind his poetry is religious and emotional, rather than i n -tellectual. Equally aware of his Jewish tradition, Layton f a i l s to communicate any of the sympathy so characteristic of Klein's poetry. He uses his Jewish tradition, aggressively, and the poems with theme seem intended for a deliberately ex-clusive coterie. Fully capable of controlling the technical subtleties of modern poetry, he, nevertheless, deliberately limits the v e r s a t i l i t y of his statement by a stubborn refusal to extend his ultimate values beyond the physical world. He makes his comment on the social and psychological problems - .96 -around him, but the observable world consistently dominates any possible idealism working towards i t s redemption. As a result, his conclusions are often predictable and monotonous, and very few of his many poems are worth extended considera-tion. When c r i t i c s claim Patrick Anderson as a Canadian poet, they must overlook the fact that his stay in Canada has been somewhat sporadic. Instead, they concentrate upon his out-standing contribution to that poetry which i s consciously Canadian in setting in theme. A disarming simplicity of style and statement i s characteristic of a l l of his poetry. Unlike many of the. other Montreal poets, the chief personal passion which motivates his poetry is that of being a Cana-dian, in spite of his non-Canadian background. As a result, his writing indicates astonishing insight into the complexi-ties of Canadian l i f e . If variance is characteristic of a group of poets consciously identified with each other, the other poets, a l -ready separated geographically,cannot be expected to work within a unified tradition. Raymond Souster's voice i s as often identified with Toronto as i t i s with Montreal, but his chief characteristic is his individuality. His poetry i s pervaded by a sense of personal loneliness which Instinc-tively understands the loneliness of others. His poems ex-plain, rather than complain, and their limitation resides in - 97 -the narrow range of his vision, and not in any lack of depth. The women poets a l l display an unevenness which re-sults in a few outstanding poems, and an indeterminate num-ber of less interesting ones. The most important of these poets, Dorothy Livesay, excels in her poetry of social pro-test, but lapses into t r i v i a l i t y in some of her psychological comments. With an astonishing unity of form and content, she measures the temper of a socially distraught society more convincingly than any other Canadian poet. When her poetry i s bold and passionate, the power of her statement is supported by carefully chosen rhythms and imagery. Her more tender, psychological poetry, exploring the relationships between individuals, affords many remarkable flashes of i n -sight, but does not approximate the few best poems of P.K. Page. Miss Livesay's decided disinterest in mythopoeic ex-perimentation limits the comprehensiveness of her importance for Canadian poetry, although her extensive travels furnish new material for each phase of her literary development. The mythopoeic poets do not form a school of thought « until after 1955- Since most of them are too young to have written when the other themes were popular, only a few of them, like LePan, and Wilkinson, have been successful in writing other kinds of poetry. LePan's scholarly approach to the social problems of his day needs l i t t l e alteration - 9 8 -in order to become mythic. His poetic scheme has always depended upon his a b i l i t y to reorganize time and space into a unique pattern, thereby creating a suitable context for his ideas. The desire for order in his social and psy-chological poems is met in mythology, and his myth poems are an attempt to interpret the single actions of man into the larger scheme of an archetypal order. Since most of the mythopoeic poets are academics., the same kind of s c i n t i l l a t i n g variety, characteristic of the educated ima-gination, is able to operate in the creation of their poetry. Although the extreme variety among the poets combines with the flux of the time during which they were writing, to produce a disparate body of poetry, certain similarities between the treatment of each of the themes therein establish i t , nonetheless, as a related body of material. Each of the four major themes is presented with the same degree of f l e x i -b i l i t y . The social poetry runs the gamut from impotent, c r i t i c a l invective, through a barely articulated hope, to a clear plan for revolutionary action, and ends with the f i n a l belief that man i s capable of shaping his destiny. The war poets explore the meaningless, dumb despair of the c i v i l i a n and soldier alike, but include, in many of their poems, the firm belief that victory w i l l come, and that man is capable of determining the course of that victory. The psychological poets are preoccupied with the endless tedium - 99 -of a humdrum existence, whether i t be in sickness or in health, but the hope that man w i l l endure and find a bet-ter sense of order gives rise to several powerful poetic statements. The archetypal obstacles to human existence, to be discovered in mythology, lead as often to an apocalyp-t i c fulfillment as to ironic despair and emptiness. In every mode, the possibility for love and the continuation of l i f e are made real and tangible, while the equally valid aspects of total nihilism and despair create a constant tension: with the rest of the poetry. No single, determined point of view dominates:the treatment of any aspect of l i f e , and the total picture i s commendably inclusive and r e a l i s t i c . The definite growth of technique from old forms to new, experimental ones, -moves:"through the themes as well. As the social poets experiment with radical ideas, radical-new verse forms are required to express them. Their i n -creasing freedom with new ideas i s directly related to the increasing competence of their poetic expression. The psy-chological poets use new forms less and less experimentally, and the mythopoeic poets work with an already inherited tradition of formal variety, allowing themselves the free-dom of attempting a new kind of content which incorporates the universal elements of time and space. These developments provide an interesting foundation upon which the most recent Canadian poetry can build. The - 100 -p o s s i b i l i t y of f i n d i n g metaphors as e a s i l y i n the imagination as i n r e a l i t y , i n oppression as i n triumph, has been explored, and the newest poetry i s f r e e of any r e s t r i c t i v e a t t i t u d e s -towards e i t h e r i t s form or i t s content. When Jay Macpherson, f o r example, f r e e l y combines the c l a s s i c a l myth of Philomela and Procne, w i t h the mythology of the B i b l e , and chooses her imagery e c l e c t i c a l l y from Bla k e , Keats, and the E l i z a b e t h a n s , her c o l l e c t i o n of poems d i s t i n g u i s h e s i t s e l f from any s i n g l e , previous c o l l e c t i o n of Canadian poetry. The d e l i g h t f u l i n -v e r s i o n of the poems d e a l i n g s e r i o u s l y w i t h the f a l l e n women of h i s t o r y at f i r s t , and then j u s t i f y i n g t h e i r past e x p l o i t s w i t t i l y i n another s e c t i o n of the book, introduces a de-c i d e d l y modern note to an ar c h e t y p a l concept, and sets the tone f o r a group of poems w i t h a f i x e d world view which a l -lows f o r maximum f l e x i b i l i t y of the m a t e r i a l s w i t h which i t d e a l s . I n t o t h i s t o t a l v i s i o n , the comments on the s o c i e t y and the i n d i v i d u a l , so a p t l y pioneered by the poets of the ' t h i r t i e s and ' f o r t i e s , merge i n t o a gre a t e r concept of humanity. The i n t e l l e c t u a l , mythopoeic poetry a f t e r 1955 i s r i v a l l e d by poems committed to a more concrete expression of s o c i a l experience. The themes, however, are not s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t from each other. Man's b a t t l e xci.th e x t e r n a l and i n t e r n a l f o r c e s of o p p o s i t i o n or i n d i f f e r e n c e i s not a l t e r e d by l i m i t i n g the choice of imagery to that found on a walk - 1 0 1 -through the city slums instead of through the library. Depth of insight alone can alter the battle, and this insight does not reside in simplicity any more than in complexity of expression. Imaginative comprehension must combine with artjs -t i c s k i l l in order to produce excellent poetry, and the Cana-dian poets of the last thirty years have proved that this combination is as often inspired in the academic community as on the city pavement. Bounded at one extreme by derivative poetry, and at the other by sophisticated expermentation, the poetry of 1 9 3 5 - 1 9 5 5 can be thought of as beads upon a string. The isolated units bear a distinct resemblance to each other, and yet the slim thread, of time which connects them is not sufficient to provide a structure to which the Canadian poets can contribute at random. Their desire to create unaf-fected poetry, f a i t h f u l to the Canadian scene, i s handi-capped by the lack of a central figure to unify their i n -dividual perceptions, as Whitman unified the early American poets and Pound the later ones. Their desire to create i n -digenous poetry, xforthy of consideration In the literary world, i s impeded by the necessity of employing a language which i s identified with an astounding tradition of great depth and variety, while yet recording the pulse of a country without a firmly established tradition to which the physical and spiritual aspects of living can orientate themselves. SELECTIVE BIBLIOGRAPHY I. PRIMARY SOURCES ANTHOLOGIES Bennett, Ethel Hume, ed. New Harvesting. Toronto, 1939. Birney, Earle, ed. Twentieth Century Canadian Poetry. Toronto, 1953-Canadian Authors'..Association: Toronto Branch, eds. Voices of  Victory. Toronto, 1941. Carman, Bliss, Lome Pierce and V.B. Rhodenizer, eds. Canadian  Poetry in English. Toronto, 1954. Creighton, Alan arid Hilda M. Ridley, eds. A New Canadian An-thology. Toronto, 1938. Dudek, Louis, Irving Layton and Raymond Souster. Cerberus. Toronto, 1952. Gustafson, Ralph, ed. Anthology of Canadian Poetry. Toronto, 1942. , ed. The Penguin Book of Canadian Verse. London, 195b. Hambleton, Ronald, ed. Unit of Five. Toronto, 1944. Klinck, C.F. and R.E. Watters, eds. Canadian Anthology. Toronto, 1957. Mandel, E.W., Gael Turnbull and Phyllis Webb. Trio. Montreal, 1954. "Saturday Night", eds. Poems for the' Interim. Toronto, 1946. Scott, F.R. and A.J.M. Smith, eds. The Blasted Pine. Toronto, 1957. Scott, F.R., ed. New Provinces. Toronto, 1936. - 103 -Smith, A.J.M., ed. The Book of Canadian Poetry. Chicago, 1943. ., ed. The Book of Canadian Poetry. Toronto, 1957. ., ed. The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse. Toronto, I960. Sutherland, John, ed. Other Canadians. Montreal, 1947. Wilson, Milton, ed. Poetry of Midcentury: 1940-1960. Toronto, 1964. INDIVIDUAL COLLECTIONS Anderson, Patrick. A Tent for April . Montreal, 1945. . The White Centre. Toronto, 1946. Avison, Margaret. Winter Sun. Toronto, i960. Birney, Earle. David and Other Poems. Toronto, 1942. . Now i s Time. Toronto, 1945. . . The Strait of Anian. Toronto, 1948. Daniells, Roy. Deeper Into the Forest. Toronto, 1948. Dudek, Louis. East of the City. Toronto, 1946. Frye, Northrop, ed. The Collected Poems of E.J.Pratt. Toronto, 1958. : Hambleton, Ronald. Object and Event. Toronto, 1953. Klein, A.M. The Rocking Chair and Other Poems. Toronto, 1948. Layton, Irving. The Improved Binoculars. U.S.A., 1956. . A Red Carpet for the Sun. Toronto, 1959. - 104 -LePan, Douglas. The Net and the Sword, Toronto, 1953. . The Wounded Prince and Other Poems. London, 1 9 4 8 . : — Livesay, Dorothy. Day and Night. Toronto, 1944. . Poems for People. Toronto, 1947. . Selected Poems. Toronto, 1957. Macpherson, Jay. The Boatman. Toronto, 1957* •Page, P.K. As Ten, As Twenty. Toronto, 1946. Reaney, James. The Kildeer and Other Plays. Toronto, 1962. The Red Heart. Toronto, 1949. "'' . A Suit of Nettles. Toronto, 1958. Souster, Raymond. City Hall Street. Toronto, 1951. . The Selected Poems. Toronto, 1956. .Watson, Wilfred. Friday's Child. London, 1955. Webb, Phyllis. The Sea i s Also a Garden. Toronto, 1962. Wilkinson, Anne. The Hangman Ties the Holly. Toronto, 1955. II. SECONDARY SOURCES Bourinot, Arthur. Five Canadian Poets. Ottawa, 1954. Brown, E.K. On Canadian Poetry. Toronto, 1943. • "Poetry", Letters in Canada:1937 to Letters in  Canada:T949 (Reprinted from the University of Toronto Quar-terly) . Ciardi, John. "Sounds of the Poetic Voice", Saturday Review: 42, (October, 1959), pp.18-21. . ~~ - 105 -Dehler, Charles Ronald. "Canada's English Poetry since Thirty-nine", Culture:14, (Summer, 1953), pp.247-255. Dudek, Louis. "The Montreal Poets", Culture:18, (June, 1957), pp.149-154. . . . "Patterns of Recent Canadian Poetry", Culture:19, (Winter, 1958), pp.399-415-. "The State of Canadian Poetry", Canadian Forum: 34, (October, 1954), pp.153-155. ' . "The Transition in Canadian Poetry", Culture:20, (Summer, 1959), pp.282-295. Frye, Northrop. Anatomy of Criticism. Princeton, 1957. . "Canada and i t s Poetry", Canadian Forum:23, (December, 1943), pp.207-210. . "Poetry", Letters in Canada:1950 to Letters i " Canada:1955. . "Poetry", The Arts in Canada, ed. Ross. Toron-to, 1958, pp.84-90. Klinck, Carl F., Alfred G. Bailey, Claude B i s s e l l , Roy Daniells, Northrop Frye and Desmond Pacey, eds. Literary History of  Canada: Canadian Literature in English. Toronto, 19fc>5» Livesay, Dorothy. "This Canadian Poetry", Canadian Forum:24, No.279, (April, 1944), pp.20-21. Pacey, Desmond. Creative Writing in Canada. Toronto, 196l. . "English-Canadian Poetry, 1944-1954", Culture: 15, (Summer, 1954), pp.255-265. . Ten Canadian Poets. Toronto, 1958. Percival, Walter P i l l i n g , ed. Leading Canadian Poets. Toronto, 1948. ; Rashley, R.E. Poetry In Canada: The First Three Steps. Toronto, 1958. Reaney, James. "The Canadian imagination", Poetry:94, (June, 1959), pp.186-189. - 106 -Reaney, James. "The Canadian Poet's Predicament", University  of Toronto Quarterly:26, (April, 1957, pp.284-295^ . "Prye's Magnet", Tamarack Review:33, (Autumn, 1 9 6 4 ) , pp.72-78. . : Ross, Malcolm and John Stevens, eds. Man and His World. Toronto, 1962. Smith, A.J.M. Masks of Poetry. Toronto, 1962. Sutherland, John. "The Past Decade in Canadian Poetry", Northern Review:4, (December/January, 1950-51), pp.42-47. Sylvestre, Guy, Brandon Conron and Carl P. Klinck. Canadian  Writers. Toronto, 1964. Wells, Henry W. Where Poetry Stands Now. Toronto, 1948. Whalley, George, ed. Writing in Canada. Toronto, 1956. Wilgar, W.P. "Poetry and the Divided Mind in Canada", The 'Dalhousie Review:24, (October, 1944), pp.266-271.. Wilson, Milton. "Recent Canadian Verse", Queen's Quarterly:66, (Summer, 1959), pp.268-274. Woodcock, George. "Recent Canadian Poetry", Queen's Quarterly: 62, (Spring, 1955), pp.111-115. Woodcock, George, ed. Canadian Literature: Nos. 1-23. APPENDIX The collections of poetry which appear in this appen-dix are selected from those published by Canadian poets during the period, 1 9 3 5 - 1 9 5 5• The independent collec-tions of a l l poets who appear in major anthologies are re-presented here, along with those of a limited number of other poets who are not anthologized, but are, nonetheless, of interest. Where the collections are neither in the Vancouver Public Library nor the library of the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, the publication details have been taken from A Check List of Canadian Literature (R.E. Watters), and the l i s t s in Canadiana and Letters in Canada. - io8 -Anderson, Patrick. The Colour as Naked. Toronto, 1953. . A Tent For A p r i l . Montreal, 1945. . The White Centre. Toronto, 1946. Bailey, Alfred Goldsworthy. Border River. Toronto, 1952. Baker, Ida Emma (Fitch). At Eventide. Toronto, 1943. . By Lamplight. Toronto, 1936. . Name Above Every Name. Toronto, . Selected Poems. Toronto, 1951. Bedell, Laura Amelia. Blue Harbour. Picton, 1947. . From Dawn to Dusk. Bloomfield, Ont., ' 1944. ; — Benson, Nathaniel A. The Glowing Years. Toronto, 1937. . In Memoriam Princlpis. Toronto, 1951. . Ode on the Death of George V. Toronto, 1936. ' Birney, Earle. David and Other Poems. Toronto, 1942. . Now Is Time. Toronto, 1945. . The Strait of Anian. Toronto, 1948. . . T r i a l of a City and Other Verse. Toronto, 1952. Bourinot, Arthur Stanley. Canada at Dieppe. Toronto, 1942. . The Collected Poems. Toronto, 1947. - 1 0 9 -Bourinot, Arthur Stanley Ottawa, 1 9 5 5 . Toronto, 1 9 3 7 . to, 1 9 5 4 . Boyle, Charles Frederick Discovery. Toronto, 1 9 4 0 . Eleven Poems. Ottawa, 1 9 3 7 . Everything on Earth Must Die. Five Poems. Toronto, 1 9 4 3 . Lines From Deepwood. Toronto, 1 9 4 6 . More Lines From Deepwood. Toronto, Nine Poems. Toronto, 1 9 4 4 . Rhymes of the French Regime. Selected Poems. Toronto, 1 9 3 5 -Ten Narrative Poems. Ottawa, 1 9 5 5 . This Green Earth. Gananoque, 1 9 5 3 . Tom Thomson and Other Poems. Toron-The Treasures of the Snow. Toronto, True Harvest. Toronto, 1 9 4 6 . Under the Sun. Toronto, 1 9 3 9 . What Far Kingdom. Toronto, 1 9 4 1 . Excuse For F u t i l i t y . Toronto, 1 9 3 9 . Prayers at a High Altar. Toronto, Stars Before the Wind. Toronto, 1 9 3 7 . Bradshaw, Thecla. Mobiles. Toronto, 1 9 5 5 . Brewster, Elizabeth. East Coast. Toronto, 1 9 5 1 . . Lillooet. Toronto, 1 9 5 4 . - 110 -Brown, Audrey Alexandra. A l l Fools Day. Toronto, 1 9 4 8 . . Challenge of Time and Death. Toronto, 1 9 4 3 . . The Tree of Resurrection and Other Poems. Toronto, 1 9 3 7 . . V-E Day. Toronto, 1 9 4 7 . Bruce, Charles. The Flowing Summer. Toronto, 1 9 4 7 . . Grey Ship Moving. Toronto, 1 9 4 5 . . The Mulgrave Road. Toronto, 1 9 5 1 . . Personal Note. Toronto, 1 9 4 1 . Buckley, Joan. Blue Steeples. Vancouver, ( 1 9 4 5 ? ) . Green Flame. Toronto, 1 9 4 0 . . Spring After War. Vancouver, 1 9 4 6 . . Western Sunflowers. Langley Prairie, B.C., Campbell, Marjorie. High On a H i l l . Toronto, 1 9 4 9 . . Merry-Go-Round. Toronto, 1 9 4 6 . Card, Dorothy Edith. Prairie Harvest and Other Poems. New York, 1 9 5 4 . Carsley, Sara Elizabeth. Alchemy and Other Poems. Toronto, 1 9 3 5 . : The Artisan. Toronto, 1 9 4 1 . Child, Philip. The Victorian House and Other Poems. Toronto, 1 9 5 1 . Chilton, Mrs. Vina Bruce. A Few More Dawns. Toronto, 1 9 5 2 . Clarke, George Herbert. Hymn to the Sp i r i t Eternal. Toronto, . McMaster University. Toronto, 1 9 4 0 . - I l l -Clarke, George Herbert. Ode on the Royal V i s i t to Canada. Toronto, 1939. . On the Burial of George V. Toronto, 1935. _  . Selected Poems (ed. George Whalley). Toronto, 1954. . Three Lyric ^ Songs. London, 1937. Coates, Carol. Fancy Free. Toronto, 1939-. Invitation to Mood. Toronto, 1949. . The Return and Selected Poems. Toronto, 1941. Cogswell, Frederick. The Stunted Song. Fredericton, N.B. 1954. Colman, Mary Elizabeth. For This Freedom, Too. Toronto, 1942. Conklin, William. Wind-Blown Leaves. Toronto, 1951. Cormack, Barbara. Ruth. A Tale of New Beginnings. Edmonton, 1948. : ; . Seedtime and Harvest. Toronto, 1942. Coulter, John William. The Blossoming Thorn. Toronto, 1946. Dierdre of the Sorrows. Toronto, 1 9 4 4 . ... Transit Through Fire. Toronto, 1 9 4 2 . Cox, Leo. North Star. Toronto, 1941. • River Without End. Toronto, 1937. Creighton, Alan. Cross Country. Toronto, 1939. . Earth C a l l . Toronto, 1936. Dakin, Lawrence. Sonnets and Lyrics. Paris, 1935. . Sorrows of the Hopeful. London, 1936. . The Tower of Li f e . Portland, Me., 1946. - 1 1 2 -Daniells, Roy. Deeper Into the Forest. Toronto, 1 9 4 8 . Diespecker, Dick. Between Two Furious Oceans, and Other  Poems. Toronto, 1944. . Prayer for Victory. Toronto, 1 9 4 3 . Downes, Gwladys. Lost Diver. Fredericton, N.B., 1 9 5 5 . Dudek, Louis. Cerberus. Toronto, 1 9 5 2 . . East of the City. Toronto, 1 9 4 6 . . Europe. Toronto, 1 9 5 4 . . The Searching Image. Toronto, 1 9 5 2 . . Twenty-Four Poems. Toronto, 1 9 5 2 . . Unit of Five. Toronto, 1 9 4 4 . Dumbrille, Dorothy. Last Leave, and Other Poems. Toronto, 1 9 4 2 . . Stairway to the Stars. Toronto, 1 9 4 6 . . Watch the Sun Rise. Alexandria, 1 9 4 3 . . We Cornel We Cornel. Toronto, 1 9 4 1 . Edelstein, Hyman. A l l Quiet In Canada - And Why. Ottawa, 1 9 4 4 . . Last Mathematician. Toronto, 1 9 4 9 . . Sp i r i t of Israel. Toronto, 1 9 4 2 . . Sp i r i t of Israel and Other Poems. Toronto, 1 9 5 0 . Edwards, Henry Arthur. Star Shine and Moon Light. Vancouver, 1 9 4 7 . . White Magic and Other Poems. Vancouver, Elsom, Margaret. Pleasant Paths. Toronto, 1 9 4 6 . . This Hour. Woodstock, 1 9 4 5 . - 113 -Ezra, Isaac B. The Golden Kernel and Other Poems. Toronto, 1 9 5 1 . . . The Legend and the Pour and Other Poems. Philadelphia, :  Parley, Tom. It Was a Plane.' Toronto, 1 9 5 2 . Perne, Doris Maude. Ebb Tide. Toronto, 1 9 4 1 . . Paschal Lamb, and Other Poems. Toronto, Pewster, Ernest Philip. The Immortal Dweller. Vancouver, 1 9 3 8 . n___B__1 • Litany Before the Dawn of Fire. Toronto, 1 9 4 2 . . Rejoice, 0 My Heart. Vancouver, 1 9 4 9 . . The Wind and the Sea. Vancouver, 1946 Finch, Robert. New Provinces. Toronto, 1 9 3 6 . . Poems. Toronto, 1 9 4 6 . . The Strength of the H i l l s . Toronto, 1 9 4 8 . Fox, William Sherwood. On Friendship. Toronto, 1 9 5 3 . Prisch, lAnthony German. Hull The House; New Poems In English, French and 1 9 5 0 . Poems. Toronto, 1 9 5 4 . Steine Aus Kanada. Vienna, 1 9 5 2 . Third Poems. Hull, 1 9 5 1 . Though I Speak. Montreal, 1 9 4 9 . Garrett, Mrs. Florence. Life's Gleanings. Winnipeg, 1 9 3 7 . . Memories. Winnipeg, 1 9 3 6 . . The Whispering Leaves. Winnipeg, 1 9 3 6 . - 114 -Gleave, Thomas Barwell. Beckoning H i l l s . Toronto, 1 9 4 9 . . Beyond our Walls. Toronto, 1946. . Come Rest Awhile. Toronto, 1 9 4 8 . . Enchanted By-Ways. Toronto, 1 9 4 7 . . Here's To Happiness. Toronto, 1945. ' . The Mystic Cave. Montreal, n.d. . Vistas Grave and Gay. Toronto, 1 9 4 4 . Gould, Mona. Gossip!. Toronto, 1 9 4 9 . . I Run With the Fox. Toronto, 1 9 4 6 . . Tasting the Earth. Toronto, 1943. Gustafson, Ralph. Epithalamium i n Time of War. New York, 1 9 4 1 . . F l i g h t into Darkness. New York, 1 9 4 6 . The Golden Chalice. London, 1 9 3 5 . L y r i c s Unromantic. New York, 1 9 4 2 . Hambleton, Ronald. Object and Event. Toronto, 1 9 4 4 . . Unit of Five. Toronto, 1 9 4 4 . Harden, Verna Loveday. Postlude to an Era. Toronto, 1 9 4 0 . . When This Tide Ebbs. Toronto, 1 9 4 6 . Hazleton, Mrs. Ruth Cleaves. Mint and Willow. Toronto, 1 9 5 2 . Harrington, Michael. Newfoundland Tapestry. Dallas, 1943. _. The Sea i s Our Doorway. Toronto, 1 9 4 7 . Hedges, Mrs. Doris. C r i s i s . Toronto, 1 9 4 7 . . The Dream i s Certain. Boston, 1 9 5 4 . . The Flower i n the Dusk. Toronto, 1 9 4 6 . . Words on a Page, and Other Poems. Toronto, 1 9 4 9 . - 115 -Hine, Daryl. Five Poems. Toronto, 1954. Hood, Robert Allison. Ballads of the Pacific Northwest, ronto, 1946. ! . Vignettes of Vancouver. Vancouver, im. . Horan, John William. Songs of the North. Edmonton, 1942. . Yellowknife. Edmonton, 1947. Hornyansky, Michael. The Queen of Sheba. Toronto, 1951. Howard, Dorothy. AS the River Runs. Toronto, 1947. . A Child Came Laughing, n.p. ( 1 9 4 ? ) . . When I Turn Home. Toronto, 1945. Jameson , Vere. Moths After Midnight • Omar from Nishapur. The Sultan of Jobat. Jaques, Edna. Aunt Hattie's Place. • Backdoor Neighbours. . Beside S t i l l Waters. . Britons Awake. Toronto, 1940. _. Dreams in Your Heart. Toronto, 1937. _. Drifting S o i l . Toronto, 1935-_. Fireside Poems. Toronto, 1950. The Golden Road. Toronto, 1953. .• H i l l s of Home. Toronto, 1948. _. My Kitchen Window. Toronto, 1935. _. Roses in December. Toronto, 1944. . Wide Horizons. Toronto, 1935. - 116 -Kennedy, Leo. New Provinces. Toronto, 1 9 3 6 . Kirkconnell, Watson. The Flying Bull and Other Tales. London, 1 9 4 0 . : . Lyric Socra. Winnipeg, 1 9 3 9 . . Western I d y l l . Hamilton, 1 9 4 0 . Klein, Abraham Moses. Hath Not a Jew. New York, 1 9 4 0 . . The Hitleriad. New York, 1 9 4 2 . . New Provinces. Toronto, 1 9 3 6 . . Poems. Philadelphia, 1 9 4 4 . . The Rocking Chair and Other Poems. To-ronto, 1 9 4 « . Seven Poems. Montreal, 1 9 4 7 . Laurence, Francis E l s i e . The Band Plays a March, and Other  Poems, n.p., 1 9 3 6 . . Rearguard and Other Poems. Toronto, 1944. Layton, Irving T33~4T The Black Huntsman. Montreal, 1 9 5 1 . The Blue Propeller. Montreal, 1 9 5 5 . The Bull Calf and Other Poems. Toronto,1956. Cerberus. Toronto, 1 9 5 2 . The Cold Green Element. Toronto, 1 9 5 5 * Here and Now. Montreal, 1 9 4 5 . In the Midst of My Fever. The Divers Press, The Long Pea Shooter. Montreal, 1 9 5 4 . Love, the Conqueror Worm. Toronto, 1 9 5 2 . Now i s the Place. Montreal, 1 9 4 8 . - 117 -LePan, Douglas. The Net and the Sword. Toronto, 1 9 5 3 . . The Wounded Prince and Other Poems. London, 1948'. Leslie, Kenneth. By Stubborn Stars and Other Poems. Toronto, 1 9 3 8 . . Lowlands Low. Halifax, 1 9 3 5 . Levine, Norman. Myssium. Toronto, 1 9 4 8 . . The Tight Rope Walker. London, 1 9 5 0 . Livesay, Dorothy. Call My People Home. Toronto, 1 9 5 0 . . Day and Night. Toronto, 1 9 4 4 . . New Poems. Toronto, 1 9 5 5 . . Poems for People. Toronto, 1 9 4 7 . MacDonald, Goodridge. Beggar Makes Music. Toronto, 1 9 5 0 . . Compass Reading and Other Poems. To-ronto, 1 9 5 5 . . The Dying General. Toronto, 1 9 4 6 . MacDonald, Wilson. Comber Cove. Toronto, 1 9 3 7 . Greater Poems of the Bible. Toronto, 1 9 4 3 . . The Lyric Year. Toronto, 1 9 5 2 . . The Song of the Undertow, and Other Poems. Toronto, 1 9 3 5 . Quatrains of "Callander", and Other Poems. Toronto, 1 9 3 5 . McFadden, Mrs. Isobel. Light Upon the H i l l s . Toronto, 1 9 4 8 . . Reward and Other Poems. Toronto, 1 9 3 9 . Maclnnes, Tom. In the Old of My Age. Toronto, 1 9 4 7 . - 118 -Macintosh, Claire. Phantom Pirates. Halifax, 1941. . The Spirit of the Bluenose and Other Poems. Halifax, 19"5TI MacKay, Louis Alexander. The 111 Tempered Lover, and Other  Poems. Toronto, 1948. ^_ . Vipers Bugloss. Toronto, 1938. McLaren, Mrs. Ploris Clark. Frozen Fires. Toronto, 1937. McLeish, John Alexander B. Not Without Beauty. Montreal, 1940. . Ode In a Winter Evening and Other Poems. Montreal, 193t>. Macpherson, Jay. 0 Earth Return. Toronto, 1954. . Nineteen Poems. The Seizin Press, 1952. Mandel, E l i W. Trio. Toronto, 1954. Martin, Martha. Chautaugua Greets You. New York, 1940. Come Into My Garden. New York, 1935. Out of the Shadows. New York, 1937. Poems. New York, 1941. Poets' Pilgrimage. New York, 1938. Calling Adventurers. Toronto, 1941. Salt Marsh. Toronto, 1942. Marriott, Anne Sandstone and Other Poems. Toronto, 1945. The Wind our Enemy. Toronto, 1939* Massey, Gwendolyn. Legend and Other Poems. Toronto, 1944. . Symphony and Other Poems. Toronto, 1935. Matheson, Mary MacKenzie. I Seek My Way. Toronto, 1949. . The Moving Finger and Other Poems. Vancouver, 1944. - 119 -Matheson, Mary MacKenzie. Out of the Dusk. Toronto, 1941. . Shining Wings. Vancouver, n.d. The Urge Divine, and Other Poems. Toronto, n.d. Maura, Sister. Breath of the S p i r i t . Toronto, 1937. . Initiate the Heart. New York, 1946. . Rhythm Poems. Toronto, 1944. . The Rosary in Terza Rima. Toronto, 1941. . The Sheaf of Songs. Lower Granville,N.S., 1948. Merkel, Andrew Doane. The Order of Good Cheer. Halifax, 1944. . Tallahassee. Halifax, 1945. Milligan, James Lewis. A Clock in a Bassinet. Toronto, 1938. S i l u r i a and Other Poems. Toronto, 1 9 4 7 . ; . They Shall Return and Other Poems. Toronto, 1943. Moody, Irene Helen. Always the Bubbles Break. Toronto, 1947. ~ Attar of Song and Other Poems. Toronto, 1936. ; — . Lava. Toronto, 1940. Morton, James. The Churchill Tree. Victoria, 1945. . Heresies and Other Poems. Victoria, 1937. Nash, Arthur Charles. The Drama of Dunquerque. Vancouver, 1941. ' _. Lyrics of Life. Vancouver, 1941. . The Sojourner. Vancouver, 1943. - 120 -Nash, A r t h u r C h a r l e s . Songs of the Seasons. Vancouver, 1944. Nathan, Ralph. Coffee and B i t t e r s . Toronto, 1947. . Twelve Poems. Toronto, 1941. Ostenso, Martha. In a F a r Land. New York, 1942. Page, P.K. As Ten, As Twenty. Toronto, 1946. . The M e t a l and the Flower. Toronto, 1954. . U n i t of F i v e . Toronto, 1944. Paterson, A.O. Canada, S t o r y i n V e r s e . Vancouver, 1945. . Dream of Noel. V i c t o r i a , 1945. Perry, Martha E. Green Timbers and Other Poems. Toronto, 1955-. . . Hearing a F a r C a l l . Toronto, 1943. . Hero i n Ermine and Other Poems. V i c t o r i a , Song i n the S i l e n c e and Other Poems. Toron-to, 1947. P r a t t , Edwin J . Behind the Log. Toronto, 1947. . Brebeuf and H i s B r e t h r e n . Toronto, 1940. . C o l l e c t e d Poems. Toronto, 1944. . Dunkirk. Toronto, 194l. ron t o , 1937. The F a b l e of the Goats and Other Poems. To-New P r o v i n c e s . Toronto, 1936. S t i l l L i f e and Other Poems. Toronto, 1943. Ten S e l e c t e d Poems. Toronto, 1947. They are Returning. Toronto, 1945. The T i t a n i c . Toronto, 1935. Towards the Las t S p i k e . Toronto, 1952. - 121 -Pratt, Lenore. Midwinter Thaw. Toronto, 1948. Purdy, Alfred W. The Enchanted Echo. Vancouver, 1944. . Pressed on Sand. Toronto, 1955* Rashley, R.E. Portrait and Other Poems. Toronto, 1953. __. Voyageur and Other Poems. Toronto, 1946. Reaney, James. The Red Heart. Toronto, 1949. Reynolds, Myrtle. Remember Together. Toronto, 1955. Rogers, Amos Robert. The White Monument. Toronto, 1955* Roddick, Amy. England's Oldest Colony. Montreal, 1940. . I Travel to the Poets' Mart. Montreal, 1936. . The Iroquois Enjoy a Perfect Day and Other Poems. Montreal, 1939• . The Tomahawk and Other Poems. Montreal, 1938. Waiting's Wedding and Other Poems. Montreal, 1941. : Rody, Margaret Ellen Vance. Beauty and Thought in Verse. Vancouver, 1942. . Gleanings. Kamsack, Sask., 1942. Ruark, Fletcher. Mosaic and Other Poems. Windsor, 1948. . Red Wind and Other Poems. New York, 1940. Saunders, Thomas. Horizontal World. Toronto, 1951. _, . Scrub Oak. Toronto, 1949. Schull, Joseph. I, Jones, Soldier. Toronto, 1944. . The Legend of Ghost Lagoon. Toronto, 1937. Scott, Duncan Campbell. The Green Cloister. Toronto, 1935. Scott, F.R. Events and Signals. Toronto, 1954. - 122 -S c o t t , p.R. New P r o v i n c e s . Toronto, 1936. ' Overture. Toronto, 1945. S e r v i c e , Robert. Bar-Room B a l l a d s . New York, 1940. C a r o l s of an Old Codger. New York, 1954. The Complete Poems. New York, 1940,1942. L y r i c s of a Low Brow. New York, 1951. More C o l l e c t e d V e r s e . London, 1955* Rhymes of a R e b e l . New York, 1952. Rhymes of a Roughneck. New York, 1950. Songs Por My Supper. New York, 1953. Songs of a Sun-Lover. London, 1949. Twenty Bath-Tub B a l l a d s . London, 1939. Smith, A.J.M. New P r o v i n c e s . Toronto, 1936. . News of the Phoenix and Other Poems. Toronto, 1943. A S o r t of E c s t a c y . Toronto, 1954. Smith, Kay. Footnote t o the Lord's P r a y e r and Other Poems. Montreal, 19"5TI : Souster, Raymond. Cerberus. Toronto, 1952. . C i t y H a l l S t r e e t . Toronto, 1951,. . A. Dream That i s Dying. Toronto, 1955. . Go t o Sleep, World. Toronto, 1947. . Shake Hands w i t h the.Hangman. Toronto, 1953. U n i t of F i v e . Toronto, 1944. Walking Death. Toronto, 1954. - 1 2 3 -Souster, Raymond Sproule, Dorothy For What Time Slays. Toronto, 1 9 5 5 . When We are Young. Montreal, 1 9 4 6 . Bread and Roses. Montreal, 1 9 3 7 . The Cloud and the Fire. Montreal, 1 9 4 0 . Earth and Stars. Montreal, 1 9 3 5 . The Gold of Dawn. New York, 1 9 3 8 . The Silver Cloud. Montreal, 1 9 4 2 . Stephen, Alexander Maitland. Lords of the Air. Vancouver, 1 9 4 0 , . Verendrye. Toronto, 1 9 3 5 . Stevenson, Orlando John. A Group of Poems. Guelph, 1 9 4 4 . u__ . The Unconquerable North and Other Poems. Toronto, 1 9 3 « . Stringer, Arthur J.A. The King Who Loved Old Clothes. New York, 1 9 4 1 . . New York Nocturnes. Toronto, 1 9 4 8 . The Old Woman Remembers and Other Irish  Poems. Indianapolis, 1938. . Shadowed Victory. Indianapolis, 1 9 4 3 . The Woman in the Rain and Other Poems. Toronto, 1 9 4 9 . Swanson, Robert E. Bunkhouse Ballads. Toronto, 1 9 4 5 . . Rhymes of a Lumberjack. Toronto, 1 9 4 3 . . Rhymes of a Western Logger. Vancouver, 1942. Thomson, Theresa E. Silver Shadows. Toronto, 1 9 5 1 . Thomson, Theresa E. and Don W. Silver Light. Toronto, 1 9 5 5 . Tracey, Neil. The Rain i t Raineth. Sherbrooke, Que., 1 9 3 8 . - 1 2 4 -Tranter, Mrs. Gladdis Joy. A Soldier's Legacy. Toronto, 1 9 4 4 . . Winged Words. Winnipeg, 1 9 3 5 . Tupper, Kathryn (Munroe). New Moon. Toronto, 1 9 3 8 . Tanager Feather. Toronto, 1 9 5 0 • Turnbull, Gael. Trio. Toronto, 1 9 5 4 . Waddell, Jean. Candled by Stars. Toronto, 1 9 4 4 . . A Harp in the Wind. Toronto, 1 9 3 8 . Waddington, Miriam. Green World. Montreal, 1 9 4 5 . . The Second Silence. Toronto, 1 9 5 5 * Warr, Bertram. Yet a L i t t l e Onwards. London, 1 9 4 1 . Watson, Wilfred. Friday's Child. London, 1 9 5 5 . Watt, Frederick, B. Landfall. Toronto, 1 9 4 6 . . Who Dare to Live. Toronto, 1 9 4 3 . Webb, Phyllis. Trio. Toronto, 1 9 5 4 . Whalley, George. No Man an Island. Toronto, 1 9 4 8 . . Poems 1 9 3 9 - 1 9 4 4 . Toronto, 1 9 4 6 . White, William Thomas. The Battle of Britain and Other Poems. Montreal, 1 9 4 5 . . Essays of Francis Bacon, Paraphrased in Blank Verse. Montreal, 1 9 4 5 . Wilkinson, Anne. Counterpoint to Sleep. Montreal, 1 9 5 1 . . The Hangman Ties the Holly. Toronto, 1 9 5 5 . Woodcock, George. The Centre Cannot Hold. London, 1 9 4 3 . . Imagine the South. Pasadena, 1 9 4 7 . . The White Island. London, 1 9 4 0 . - 125 -Wreford, James. Of Time and the Lover. Toronto, 1950• . Unit of Five. Toronto, 1944. 


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