In this Book

The Ivory Thought
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If one poet can be said to be the Canadian poet, that poet is Al Purdy (1918–2000). Numerous eminent scholars and writers have attested to this pre-eminent status. George Bowering described him as “the world’s most Canadian poet” (1970), while Sam Solecki titled his book-length study of Purdy The Last Canadian Poet (1999). In The Ivory Thought: Essays on Al Purdy, a group of seventeen scholars, critics, writers, and educators appraise and reappraise Purdy’s contribution to English literature. They explore Purdy’s continuing significance to contemporary writers; the life he dedicated to literature and the persona he crafted; the influences acting on his development as a poet; the ongoing scholarly projects of editing and publishing his writing; particular poems and individual books of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction; and the larger themes in his work, such as the Canadian North and the predominant importance of place. In addition, two contemporary poets pay tribute with original poems.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
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  1. Reference Key
  2. pp. ix-xi
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-8
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  1. Ingredients for Certain Poems by Al Purdy
  2. pp. 9-12
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  1. Materials for a Biography of Al Purdy
  2. pp. 13-30
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  1. Unremembered and Learning Much: LAC Alfred W. Purdy
  2. pp. 31-50
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  1. Al Purdy: Ivory Thots and the Last Romantic
  2. pp. 51-62
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  1. Purdy among the Tombs
  2. pp. 63-70
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  1. Beyond Forgetting: Editing Purdy] Purdy Editing
  2. pp. 71-90
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  1. 'I couldn't write it like that anyway': Al Purdy's Hiroshima Poems
  2. pp. 91-102
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  1. Purdy's Ruins: In Search of Owen Roblin, Literary Power, and the Poetics of the Picturesque
  2. pp. 103-118
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  1. Arctic Al: Purdy's Humanist Vision of the North
  2. pp. 119-136
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  1. Good People
  2. pp. 137-141
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  1. 'Living in a Land of Giants': Locating and Sustaining Boyhood
  2. pp. 143-157
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  1. 'Kind of ludicrous or kind of beautiful I guess': Al Purdy's Rhetoric of Failure
  2. pp. 159-171
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  1. Song and Silence in Al Purdy's Family Elegies
  2. pp. 173-190
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  1. 'Buried bones and ornaments and stuff': Purdy's Reliquary Poetics
  2. pp. 191-211
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  1. On Trying to Wear Al's Shirts
  2. pp. 213-220
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  1. Reflections on a Dynamic Collaboration
  2. pp. 221-226
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  1. Al Purdy, Sam Solecki, and Canadian Tradition
  2. pp. 227-238
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  1. Conclusion, Retrospective, and Prospective
  2. pp. 239-246
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  1. Select Bibliography of Secondary Materials
  2. pp. 247-249
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  1. Contributors
  2. p. 251
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 253-265
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