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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Polish poets in Canada : a comparative study Nemetz, Lillian Jagna


The aim of this thesis has been to examine the place of Polish émigré, English and French Canadian poetry in "Canadian literature". The study has involved an examination of the problems that confront each of the three literatures, separately and on a comparative level. The work of the three groups of poets has been placed in an historical perspective: the "colonial mind" of the English Canadian poet, the "separatist" state of the French Canadian poet, and the "dépaysé" situation of the Polish émigré. These have been compared and contrasted. The main themes followed throughout the thesis have been those concerned with the, problems of isolation and communication as expressed in Polish, French and English poetry. The further aim of this analysis has been to stress the need for communication between ethnic groups in Canada, to further the mutual understanding of their language and their poetry. In addition it was necessary to examine the role of critics and writers in bringing to Canadian literature the meaning of the social content of this country as expressed in the poetry of all cultural groups. To make the discussion of the work of the Polish émigré poets possible, comments of Polish critics and an anthology of poems were translated into English. The examination of the three cultures has shown the need for the recognition of a cultural identity for "Canadian" poets in order that both Canadian literature and its component ethnic literatures should survive. Ethnic groups, through their interpretation of a new environment, bring richness to Canadian culture, and conversely into their own literature, both in the émigré literature and that still being written in the mother country.

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