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.LETT_ ERS IN CANADA: 1946 Edited by A. S. P. WooDHOUSE JT has been decided by the Advisory Board to continue "Letters m - Canada," and certain necessary steps in reorganization have been or will be taken. Next year the editorship of the survey, as of the QuARTERLY, will pass into the able and experienced hands of Professor J. R. Mac~ Gillivray, for whom we would bespeak the support and cO-operation of everyone who values the journal and the survey, and who is concerned to uphold the uncompromising _ standards of criticism for -which they have stood. We are fortunate in retaining the services of Professor E. K. Brown, whqse annual essays on poetry already constitute a record of unique value. To him, and to the other contributors, past and present, who have helped· 1 to give_ClLetters in Canada., its charactet·, a retiring Editor may be allowed to express his thanks. With the revival of drama since the war, it_becomes possible and desirable to restore the section on that form of literature. It is undertaken by a new surveyor, Mr. Vincent M. Tovell. The bulk of "Remaining Materiar' is also supplied by a fresh recruit, Mr. J. C. Garrett. \¥e welcome their aid and can safely promise them the_reward traditionally assigned to virtue. \¥e are under 'our usual obligation to the writers of special \10tes, to Miss Francess Halpenny of the University Press for her indispensa.ble work on the lists, and to the University Library for its co-operation·and aid. I. POETRY E. -K. BROWN· I ' ' The Poems are Mr. Robert Finch's first volume. Even for an EnglishCanadian poet they appear somewhat late, for Mr. Finch is forty-six. He has ho~ever achieved a considerable reputation, and the book has been eagerly awaited. Mr. Finch was one of the six poets represented in New Provinces (1936), with .which the contemporary phase of our poetry began to attract critical notice. His pieces in the Canadian number of Poetry (April, 1941) were among the most individual. He had striking poems in 1\!lr. Gustafson's two anthologies, the Anthology of Canadian Poetry (1942) ' and the Little Antlwlogy of Canadian Poets (1943). In Mr. A. J. M. Smith's Book of Canadian Poetry (1943) he stood with F. R. Scott at the head of the section significantly named "The Cosmopolitan Tradition." Most of -the old favourites are reprinted in the Poems, but there is also much that 1s new. There has never been anything in Canadian poetry at all like Mr. Finch's work. As I write, one of his early paintings hangs in front of me, ' an exquisite study in line, sharp, emphatic, decisive, but saved from all hardness by an astonishing delicacy in colouring. Emphasis and delicacy, 246 LETTERS IN CANADA: 1946 247 so extraordinarily combined in his painting, come together to produce in · his poetry a unique effect. He delights in the monosyllable, the quick clean phrase, the .short line, the simple stanza, but he delights also in the suggestive epithet, the approximate rhyme, the fantastic, even bizarre image. The complex effect that comes of so strange an association appears in such a nature piece as uEtobicoke Autumn"~ Under the white bridge In the hush between gale and gale The water tugs edge over edge Over ochre shale. The barbs of the willow leaves Point from bent 'stems At a black stove-pipe on pink eaves As the wind aims Misses and rips the cloud-butts Loosing a gale again Till the rain falls like ripe note~ And the nuts like green rain And the pickers cramming the sleeves Of sweaters are fann.ed Through the rain of nuts and breves To the .hot-dog stand. -Extraordinary care has gone into the composition of his poems. In "Poet on Poet" he contrasts .two kinds of poetry, and there is no.~'doubt to which his own belongs: His lines run wherever his pen goes, Mine grope the miles from heart to head; His will tire before he does; Mine will move when I am dead. in poetry as in painting Mr. Finch cares immensely 'tor the expres~ive­ ness peculiar to the medium; and it is because...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 246-255
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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