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LETTERS IN CANADA: 1939 283 L POETRY BROWN more than in any with stresses and' ..n'-"'-'n.....""'~" us who have LETTERS IN CANADA: 1939 283 L POETRY BROWN more than in any with stresses and' ..n'-"'-'n.....""'~" us who have - -284 THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO QUARTERLY compassion finds a perfect vesture in short lines, full of moving reiterations, and conveying, by these and by the turn of phrase and the avoidance of sharp or strong stresses, the helplessness of ,the wanderers. Much the same is his success in the bitter "Wrestling Match" and the more subtle "Not Long Ago" in which the theme is the helplessness in the grip of great social forces not of transients but of us all. Many other themes are treated in this collection. The spirit of Wordsworth hovers over the tragic pastoral "John Ridd." Even Wordsworth's stolid humour is there: ' A man of great physique and ponderous bulk Who held his car upon the rutty roads By force of his brute strength, and if there was' At any time a doubt of Darwin's theory Here in his flesh was truth personified. The chief weakness lies in the abundance of imitation, conscious or not; and it is astonishing to find in "Flying Geese" the rhythm, verse structure, and even the tone of Mr A. J. M. Smith's great lyric "The Lonely Land." But even the poems in which the notes of others are audible impress by an undoubted integrity of feeling and a scarcely broken perfection of form. Another poet with a grave anxiety about the national life is Mr Alan Creighton, who has published his second collection, Crosscountry . Unlike Miss Marriott and Mr Bourinot, he is threatening: Pushed to the end of the pier, After years of fighting day and night, We are ready for revolution. Unemployment, the regime of big business, the verge of war, the insecurity of all relationships-even marriage--with a revolution around the corner, these are his worries, and he speaks (unlike the two poets mentioned, his social verse speaks, it does not sing) of them with spirit and defiance. He closes a collection in which nature, love, and simple relations between individuals have their places as well as the poetry of society, with a forceful social statement , in which he repudiates a regional and an imperial society, and asks for a "country" to be born of a new world which he sees ••• forming In the ether a.nd skies Of an untouched land, Enveloping, comfortable, , With many friends. - -284 THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO QUARTERLY compassion finds a perfect vesture in short lines, full of moving reiterations, and conveying, by these and by the turn of phrase and the avoidance of sharp or strong stresses, the helplessness of ,the wanderers. Much the same is his success in the bitter "Wrestling Match" and the more subtle "Not Long Ago" in which the theme is the helplessness in the grip of great social forces not of transients but of us all. Many other themes are treated in this collection. The spirit of Wordsworth hovers over the tragic pastoral "John Ridd." Even Wordsworth's stolid humour is there: ' A man of great physique and ponderous bulk Who held his car upon the rutty roads By force of his brute strength, and if there was' At any time a doubt of Darwin's theory Here in his flesh was truth personified. The chief weakness lies in the abundance of imitation, conscious or not; and it is astonishing to find in "Flying Geese" the rhythm, verse structure, and even the tone of Mr A. J. M. Smith's great lyric "The Lonely Land." But even the poems in which the notes of others are audible impress by an undoubted integrity of feeling and a scarcely broken perfection of form. Another poet with a grave anxiety about the national life is Mr Alan Creighton, who has published his second collection, Crosscountry . Unlike Miss Marriott and Mr Bourinot, he is threatening: Pushed to the end of the pier, After years of fighting day and night, We are ready for revolution. Unemployment, the regime of big business, the verge of war, the insecurity of all...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 283-289
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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