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PUBLICATIONS IN OTHER LA.t~GUAGES 499 PUBLICATIONS IN OTHER LANGUAGES Watson Kirkconnell The year 1964 has brought only a lean harvest of New-Canadian belles lettres. No dramas or novels have come to my desk and only five slim volumes of verse have come my way. Of these latter the most striking is the somewhat bizarre Eskimo Eve, the sixth volume of Stanislaw Michalski, a Polish poet in Montreal. His style, which is peculiarly his own, may be described as a breathless brook of short, ejaculatory free-verse lines rushing down an endless hill. In the first fifteen pages there are 140 dashes but only 12 periods. The diction is rarely metaphorical and often runs to abstract terrns. The only hint of pattern lies in a casual division into titled strophes. Along with all this, however, Mr. Michalski has something to say and is desperately earnest about saying it. The complete extermination of mankind by an atomic holocaust is his constant nightmare. In the current volume, all members of the human race have been blotted out except one illiterate Eskimo and One cultured woman from Montreal called "Eskimo Eve," who meet, amid stark outer darkness and a blizzard, in an igloo in the Canadian Arctic. The polar confrontation gives rise to long dialogues on the fate and folly of mankind, but we are left with the hope that this new Adam and Eve will manage things better. A sample extract (translated) from the igloo dialogue will represent both style and thought. "Eve" is speaking: Other than that, the inherited, the remoteFrom school, from tradition, From the artificial world, From the prison-cell of the soul in which I stayed for years In the jail of thought- - - - Other (it will be) .. . Richer .. . Fuller .. . Firmer . . . Because closer to the earth, and more human! Yours and mine-uncompromisinglySo jointly OURS And withal you are such-a polar gander, Illiterate-like an empty page, Blank- - - -A vacuum of knowledge and a tabula rasa ... 500 LEITERS IN CANADA: 1964 Sometimes I seem NOT KNOWING GOOD AND EVIL, Like the first woman-great-grandmother Eve, Or as a bourgeois woman-like a goose from the south That knows nothing by its own insight, And doesn't want to knowAnd is not even able to want to know! The latest volume of verse by Tetiana Shevchuk (Mrs. Tania Bishop, born at Canora, Saskatchewan, in 1904 and a graduate of Queen's University) is An Overture to Future Days in which she bequeathes her spiritual musings to the rising generation. There are sixteen poems in Ukrainian and nine in English, but while some of the titles are identical such as, liThe Wind," HFaith," HA Meditation," {IChristmas Eve," the poems in the two languages are essentially different. Their dominant theme is a home-grown theosophical faith in spiritual values. Dr. M. 1. Mandryka has contributed a discerning foreword. The Metropolitan Ilarion's God and the World is Part One of a reader of Ukrainian religious verse, expressly written by him for young people in Ukrainian Orthodox Sunday schools or for use in families. The major concepts of systematic theology are clothed in poetic form and there is a glossary of the less familiar ecclesiastical terms. The purpose takes one back to Isaac Watts's Divine and Moral Songs for Children (1720), but the exposition is more systematically doctrinal and planned for devotional use. Ivan Kmeta, whose Emigrant's Lyre I reviewed in this survey in 1937, has now published The Golden Chalice, a further collection of predominantly religiO U S lyrics. They are not wholly such, however, and a group of his translations from English poetry shows his fondness for such poets as Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, Rudyard Kipling, Christina Rossetti, and Emily Dickinson. In an original poem-sequence called "The Sisters," he pays a tribute to what he feels to be a fundamental kinship between the last two of these. One brief section reads: You, my sister, can sing In the sky or the cage: As a tender harp plays, Dews the desert assuage. There are streams in the desert, The orphan finds loveNo pain and no sickness. God sees from above. PUBLICATIONS IN OTHER LANGUAGES 501...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 499-506
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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