Work in Canadian Poetry Studies: 1976-1977
Compiled by Linda Dowler
Note: The following is a
hand-list of criticism on English-Canadian poetry published in 1976-1977. Journal articles
have been summarized or abstracted, according to the requirements imposed by the nature of
the material. Full-length studies and interviews have been included without comment. It is
hoped that the list will provide students and scholars with a reference point in the
rapidly growing body of work in Canadian poetry criticism.
Endres, Robin. Robert Haymans
Quodlibets, Canadian Literature, no. 73 (Summer, 1977), 68-78.
[A survey of a book of epigrams by an early
seventeenth-century governor of a Newfoundland colony, now known to be the first English
poetry written in Canada].
Fetherling, Doug. The Canadian Goldsmith. Canadian
Literature, no. 6869 (Spring-Summer, 1976), 121-124.
The Candian Oliver Goldsmiths poem
The Rising Village is notable as great-bad poetry. It can be seen
as founding a tradition in Canadian poetry which aims at the epic but remains merely
Hughes, Kenneth J. Oliver Goldsmiths The
Rising Village. Canadian Poetry, no. 1 (Fall-Winter, 1977),
The Rising Village proves to be a
better poem than has generally been thought when analysed in terms of Goldsmiths
audience, and in the context of the development of colonial political tensions in the
Vincent, Thomas B. Alline and Bailey. Canadian
Literature no. 68-69 (Spring-Summer, 1976),124-133.
Alline, a Nova Scotian New Light
poet, and Bailey, a Church of England missionary and loyalist satirist, seem to represent
the two opposed modes of late eighteenth-century English verse. However, their work forms
part of a broad spectrum of poetic stances in the Maritimes at this period.
Bentley, D.M.R. The Onondaga Madonna: a
sonnet of rare beauty. CV II, 3:2 (Summer, 1977), 28-29.
Scotts sonnet implies a contrast between
the hope represented by the Christian Madonna and the racial despair depicted in this
half-breed mother and child. His complex handling of poetic techniques to underline his
message makes the piece a study in the unity of form and content.
_____. The poetry of Byron by Archibald
Lampman. Queens Quarterly 83:4 (Winter, 1976), 623-632.
[Lampmans paper on Byron is printed for the
first time, from the holograph ms. in the Public Archives of Canada. Bentleys
prefatory note points out its value to Lampman studies.]
_____. The Same Unnamed Delight;
Lampmans essay on Happiness and Lyrics of Earth. Essays on
Canadian Writing, no. 5 (Fall, 1976), 25-35.
The theme of the causality and attainment
of happiness links Lampmans essay Happiness with the poems of Lyrics
of Earth; the poets response to nature as a source of happiness informs
Cogswell, Fred. No heavenly harmony: A reading of
Powassans Drum. Studies in Canadian Literature, 1:2
(Summer, 1976), 233-237.
In Scotts poem a flawed creator drums into
being an apocalyptic vision of mans destruction through his own division and hatred,
and through the malevolence unleashed in nature by that hatred.
Connor, Carl Y. Archibald Lampman: Canadian poet
of nature (Rpt. of 1929 ed.). Ottawa: Borealis Press, 1977.
Davies, Barrie. Lampman could tell his frog from his
toad: a note on art versus nature. Studies in Canadian Literature, 2:1
(Winter, 1977), 129-130.
Dragland (SCL, Summer, 1976) quotes Scott on
Lampmans confusion between frogs and toads, but Scott missed the symbolic importance
of frogs to Lampman.
Dragland, Stan. Duncan Campbell Scott as literary
executor for Archibald Lampman: A labour of love. Studies in Canadian
Literature, 1:2 (Summer, 1976),143-157.
[A study of Scotts
activities as Lampmans friend, promoter, and literary executor, both during
Lampmans lifetime, and after his death.]
Dunn, Margo. Crawfords
Gisli, the Chieftain. CV 11, 2:2 (May, 1976), 48-50.
Crawford draws upon traditional
saga material to create a new myth, which expresses her own vision of the order of the
_____. Valancy Crawford: the lifestyle of a Canadian poet. Room
of Ones Own, 2:1 (1976), 11-19.
Details of Isabella Valancy
Crawfords life are sketchy, but study of her life and work is important, not only
because her work is brilliant, but also because through it we can learn of the conditions
of other women of her time.
Flood, John. The duplicity of D.C.
Scott and the James Bay Treaty, Black Moss, Ser. 2 no. 2 (Fall, 1976),
Scotts role in the
formulation of Treaty No. 9, and much of his official work with the Department of Indian
Affairs, reveal an equivocal stance between the humanitarianism of his poetry and his
allegiance as a civil servant to a white, Christian, and exploitive government.
Kennedy, Margaret, Lampman and the
Canadian Thermopylae: At the Long Sault May, 1660. Canadian Poetry,
no. 1 (Fall-Winter, 1977), 54-59.
Lampmans treatment of the
hero Daulac reflects the nineteenth-century values and concerns found in his
sources, especially Parkmans The Old Regime in Canada.
Klinck, Carl F. Robert Service:
a biography Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1977.
_____. Wilfred Campbell: a study in late
provincial Victorianism. 2nd. ed. Ottawa: Tecumseh Press, 1977.
Mallinson, Jean. Kingdom of absence. Canadian
Literature, no. 67 (Winter, 1976), 31-38.
Roberts praised the Romantics for their
representation of human emotions and concerns in nature poetry, but his own work is
chiefly interesting for the absence of a human dimension. His best poetry frees itself
from derivative conventions and responds directly to the inhuman Canadian landscape.
Marshall, Tom. The Major Canadian Poets: Between two
worlds: Duncan Campbell Scott. Canadian Forum, 57: 672 (June-July,
Despite his tendency to fatalism in depicting the
condition of the Indian people in Canada, Scott articulates more successfully than his
contemporaries the Canadian theme of racial alienation.
_____. Mountaineers and Swimmers. Canadian
Literature, no. 72 (Spring, 1977), 21-28.
Roberts landscape poetry is distinguished
by an Olympian stance and Victorian optimism. Carmans is more emotionally
subjective, conveying an uneasy sense of cultural displacement.
Mathews, Robin. Malcolms Katie:
Love, wealth, and nation building. Studies in Canadian Literature, 2:1
(Winter, 1977), 49-60.
Crawfords poem is addressed
to the major concerns, and reflects the values, of the Canadians of her time. It is about
love, and optimism for the future of a land whose generosity can convert cynicism and
exploitation to virtue.
McMullen, Lorraine, ed. The Lampman Symposium. Ottawa:
U. of Ottawa Press, 1976.
_____. The Poetry of Earth: a note on Roberts
Sonnets. Studies in Canadian Literature, 1: 2 (Summer, 1976),
Roberts nature poetry goes
beyond mere objective description in finding metaphors in nature for his preoccupying
themes of mutability and the cyclic aspect of time.
_____, ed. Twentieth Century Essays on Confederation
Literature. Ottawa: Tecumseh Press, 1977.
Meckler, Lee B. Rabbit-skin robes
and mink-traps: Indian and European in The Forsaken. Canadian Poetry,
no. 1 (Fall-Winter, 1977), 60-65.
Seeming inconsistencies of tone
and attitude in D.C. Scotts The Forsaken may be reconciled by noting
Scotts manipulation of diction and narrative strategy to imply a progressive
encroachment of European sensibilities upon the Indian way of life.
Nause, John. Low Tide on the Grand Pré: an
explication. CV II, 3:2 (Summer, 1977), 30-32.
[A stanza-by-stanza examination
of Carmans Low Tide on the Grand Pré, designed to illustrate the
cumulative emotive force of the poem, in which the speaker finds, in the
evocative images of sunset and rising tide, an expression of grief for a dead loved one.]
Noonan, Gerald. In search of Isabella Valancy
Crawford. Quill and Quire, 43:13 (October, 1977), 24.
[A survey of the Spring symposium
in Ottawa on the work of Isabella Valancy Crawford.]
Ross, Malcolm. A strange aesthetic ferment. Canadian
Literature, no. 68-69 (Spring-Summer, 1976), 13-25.
Bishop Medleys insistence, in the
Fredericton environment of such young poets as Carman and Roberts, upon the relationship
of beauty and holiness, finds expression in Carmans later poetry despite the fact
that he left both Fredericton and the Church behind.
Stewart, A.C. The Poetical Review:
A Brief Notice of Canadian Poets and Poetry. Introd. by D.M.R. Bentley. Canadian
Poetry, no. 1 (FallWinter), 66-68.
[Bentleys introduction to the text of this
satirical poem gives a brief biography of its author, comments on the occasion of the
publication of the piece, and reviews its attacks on contemporary poets and periodicals.]
Tierney, Frank M. The unpublished and unrevised
poems of Charles Sangster. Studies in Canadian Literature, 2:1
(Winter, 1977), 108-116.
Sangsters revised editions
of his two early works, and two further books of poetry, have remained unavailable to
students of Canadian poetry. Publication of the now complete canon will make possible a
long overdue reappraisal of Sangsters work.
Clever, Glenn, ed. The E.J.
Pratt Symposium: reappraisals of Canadian writers. Ottawa: Borealis
Cohn-Sfetcu, Ofelia. Margaret Avison: the
all-swallowing moment. English Studies in Canada, 2:3 (Fall, 1976),
Avison sees man as caught in the
whirlpool of disorganized experience, no longer receptive to emotion or
sensation. The solution to this pervasive human condition is redemption of the temporal
moment through transcendent love.
Enright, Robert. Knockers on the
iron door. CV II, 2:2 (May, 1976), 3-5.
A report on the E.J. Pratt
Symposium at the University of Ottawa, Spring, 1976.
Foulks, Debbie. Livesays two seasons of
love. Canadian Literature, no. 74 (Autumn, 1977), 63-73.
Throughout her career Livesay has
struggled with a dichotomy of attitude toward love and sexuality. Her dependence upon love
for fulfilment is set against her resentment of male self-containment; her poems are a
record of this conflict.
Gibbs, Robert. Poet of
apocalypse. Canadian Literature, no. 70 (Autumn, 1976), 32-41.
Pratts A Witches
Brew and The Great Feud are apocalyptic fantasies in which poetic
imagination (in the former) and self-destructive energy (in the latter) are released. The
imaginative indulgence of both works threatens to overburden the poetic mechanism, but is
controlled by the poets rhetorical distance and his distinctive vision.
Gray, William. Earle Birneys
concrete architecture. CV II, 2:2 (May, 1976),45.
Birneys Concrete phase has proved to be an
important transitional period, allowing him to reaffirm his faith in creativity. His best
work in this vein conveys a sense of Canadian cultural identity under a fragmented
Livesay, Dorothy. Canadian poetry
and the Spanish Civil War. CV II, 2:2 (May, 1976), 12-16.
The unrest of the Depression
years in Canada found a focus in outrage at the Fascist rebellion in Spain. The response
of poets of that period is still to be felt in the social consciousness of more recent
MacLulich, T. D. Earle
Birneys David: a reconsideration. CV II, 2:3
(August, 1976), 24-27.
Critics of Birneys
David have concentrated on technique, avoiding discussion of meaning.
Correctly read, the poem is a psychological allegory in which Bob and David are both
projections of the narrators developing consciousness of human helplessness in the
face of mortality.
Mallinson, Jean. John Robert
Colombo: documentary poet as visionary. Essays on Canadian Writing, no.
5 (Fall, 1976), 67-71.
Colombo, literary scavenger,
redeems the commonplace world of words, transfiguring the prose of reality into the poetry
Marshall, Tom. The Major Canadian
Poets: E.J. Pratt. Canadian Forum, 57:675 (October, 1977), 19-21.
Pratt was conscious of being a
national poet. More successful in his shorter works than in the ambitious
longer narratives, Pratt is nonetheless the major voice of an important transitional
period of Canadas development.
Middlebro, Tom. A commentary
on the opening lines of E.J. Pratts Toward the Last Spike. Studies
in Canadian Literature, 1:2 (Summer, 1976), 242-243.
Toward the Last Spike is
modelled on the documentary; in its opening lines Pratt uses the images of transportation
and communication to link the specific and the general.
Namjoshi, S. Double landscape.
Canadian Literature, no. 67 (Winter, 1976), 21-30.
A major concern of P.K.
Pages poetry is the clash between the internal and the external landscapes, and the
artists effort to bring them into alignment so that harmony may be achieved.
Nause, John, and Michael Heenan. An
interview with Louis Dudek. Tamarack Review, no. 69 (Summer, 1976),
_____. [Interview with Raymond Souster] CV II, 3:2 (Summer,
Neufeld, James. Some pivot for
significance in the poetry of Margaret Avison. Journal of Canadian
Studies, 11:2 (May, 1976), 35-42.
Avison recognizes the need for
the individual to define for himself a significant space, however limited or confined. The
optimism of her vision derives from her recognition of Christs definition of the
potentialities of human space in his Incarnation.
Pacey, Desmond. A.G. Bailey. Canadian
Literature, no. 68-69 (Spring-Summer, 1976), 49-61.
A.G. Baileys early poetry was influenced by
the literary environment of Fredericton, and by nineteenth-century British and Canadian
poets. At University in Toronto, Bailey began to respond to modern poets whose influence
underlies the distinctive vision and techniques of his mature poems.
Pollock, Zailig, and R.E. Jones, The Transformed
Vision: Earle Birneys David. English Studies in Canada, 3:2
(Summer, 1977), 223-230.
The artistic unity of David is
achieved through the progressive transformation of the narrators vision, as language
used to describe the external landscape reflects the speakers maturing awareness of
Reigo, Ants. Margaret Avison and the gospel of
vision. CV II, 3:2 (Summer, 1977), 14:19.
Redekop fails to recognize that Avisons
sonnet Snow uses overpowering visual experience as an allegory of spiritual
progress. This interpretation challenges Doerksons contention that the poems of the
pre-dumbfounding period lack a metaphysical dimension.
Russell, Kenneth C. The Blasphemies of A.M.
Klein. Canadian Literature, no. 72 (Spring, 1977), 59-66.
Miriam Waddingtons argument that A.M.
Kleins poetry is not religious is based on the error of regarding doubt
and belief as incompatible. Kleins poetry records the tensions inherent in mature
Smith, A.J.M. Confessions of a compulsive
anthologist. Journal of Canadian Studies, 11:2 (May,
[Chronicles his experiences in compiling the
various anthologies for which he has been responsible during his career in Canadian
Smith, A.J.M. On poetry and poets: selected
essays. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1977.
Wachtel, Eleanor. Miriam Waddington in
Vancouver. Room of Ones Own, 3:1 (1977), 2-7.
Woodcock, George. Intermittencies of place and
poetry. CV II, 2:4 (December, 1976), 18-20.
[Woodcock records the passages by which he
returned to Canada and to the writing of poetry.]
Zezulka, J.M. Refusing the sweet surrender: Margaret
Avisons Dispersed Titles. Canadian Poetry, no. I
(Fall-Winter, 1977), 44-53.
Scientific humanism and the modern crisis of
belief is Avisons topic in this difficult poem, in which images of astronomy, the
stage, and modern technology are used to confront the emptiness of the heavens and to
suggest an inner direction.
Allen, Carolyn. Margaret Atwood:
power of transformation, power of knowledge. Essays on Canadian Writing, no.
6 (Spring, 1977), 5-17.
Atwood, in The Journals of Susanna Moodie,
and the Circe/mud poems, creates women who are willing to attempt
transformations, to break out of mythic or social moulds, and create themselves. [Amprimoz, Alexandre] Interview with
Tom Marshall. Poetry Windsor Poésie, 2:2 (May, 1976), 2-10.
_____. A note on Tom Marshalls The White City. Essays
on Canadian Writing, no. 6 (Spring, 1977), 82-85.
The White City takes its meaning
from the poets relationship with Canada. Marshalls work is oddly similar to
Gwendolyn MacEwans, probably because they have shared the same historical
moment, but her generating archetypes are drawn from Egyptian mythology,
Marshalls from American Indian.
Arnanson, David, et. al.
Theres this and that connection: an interview with Daphne Marlatt. CV
II, 3:1 (Spring, 1977), 28-33.
Baxter, Marilyn. Wholly drunk or
wholly sober? Canadian Literature, no. 68-69 (Spring-Summer, 1976), 106-111.
Nowlans poetry since 1969
has expressed a dichotomy between a drunk or subjective and a
sober or objective self, and the awareness that a balance between the two
selves must be struck if the poets response to situations is to be fully human.
Belyea, Barbara. Butterfly in the
Bush Garden: Mythopoeic criticism of contemporary poetry written in
Canada. Dalhousie Review, 56:2 (Summer, 1976), 336-345.
The variety of themes and styles
evident in Canadian poetry of recent years contradicts the insistence of some critics on
the reality of a Canadian sensibility in literature.
Blott, Anne. Stories to finish: The
Collected Works of Billy the Kid. Studies in Canadian Literature, 2:2
(Summer, 1977), 188-202.
Ondaatjes book examines the
processes of recording history and legend, using images of mechanization and
fragmentation, fixity and madness, and techniques drawn from photography and the cinema,
to provide a complex montage of perceptions and recollections of his central figure.
Boland, Viga. Hans Jewinski: one of Torontos
finest [Interview]. Canadian Author and Bookman, 53:1 (Fall-Winter, 1977),
Bowering, George. Robert Duncan in
Canada. Essays on Canadian Writing, no. 4 (Spring, 1976),16-18.
California poet Robert Duncan
acted as practical mentor and spiritual guide to the group of Vancouver poets who created Tish.
His influence has served to move a generation of Canadian poets into a literary
Brewster, Elizabeth, et. al. Pat Lowther: a
tribute. CV II, 2:1 (January, 1976),15-17.
Buri, S.G. and Robert Enright. [Selections
from an interview with Al Purdy.] CV II, 2:1 (January, 1976), 50-58.
Cohn-Sfetcu, Ofelia. The privilege
of finding an opening in the past: Al Purdy and the tree of experience. Queens
Quarterly, 183:2 (Summer, 1976), 262-269.
Faced with the tragic
paradox of the human condition, Purdy taps the spiritual heritage of the past to
affirm the power of human beings simultaneously to embrace and transcend objective
Davey, Frank. Atwoods Gorgon touch. Studies
in Canadian Literature, 2:2 (Summer, 1977), 146-163.
Atwoods poetry is
preoccupied with a spatial /temporal opposition, in which the effort of the artist-woman
is to escape the static aesthetic of space, and enter time, process and mortality.
David, Jack. An elfin plotting: an interview with
Andrew Suknaski. CV II, 3:1 (Spring, 1977), 10-12.
_____. Visual poetry in Canada: Birney, Bissett and bp. Studies
in Canadian Literature, 2:2 (Summer, 1977), 252-266.
Visual poetry has a history which
goes back to the ancient Greeks, but the modern concrete movement began in the
Fifties. In Canada, Earle Birney, Bill Bissett and bp Nichol are the strongest
practicioners of this innovative form.
Day, David. A grafted tongue:
contemporary Indian poetry in Canada. CV II, 2:3 (August, 1976), 4-9.
As well as reviving traditional
poetic forms, many Indians are working in contemporary styles to establish an identity
which bridges the gap between the Old Peoples culture and modern realities.
de Santana, Hubert. Monarch in
Mufti: some notes on Richard Outram. . . . Books in Canada, 5:9
(September, 1976), 6-9.
Outram has been unjustly ignored
by critics. His work is artistically brilliant, combining beauty, toughness, and wit of a
quality unmatched in contemporary Canadian poetry.
Early, Len. bill bissett/poetics,
politics and vision. Essays on Canadian Writing, no. 5 (Fall, 1976),
Bissetts verbal chaos, phonetic spelling
and concrete forms are aspects of his rebellion against traditional poetics. Some of his
poems are informed by exuberance and beauty, particularly those in which ritual and play
combine to create a kind of sacred vision of the elemental relationship of language,
nature and humanity.
Foster, John Wilson. The poetry of
Margaret Atwood. Canadian Literature, no. 74 (Autumn, 1977), 5-20.
Atwoods poetry is concerned
with the selfs inhabitation of spaces, and with the physical space of Canada, both
past and present. The pioneer experience is a metaphor for the psychic journey toward
acceptance of the inescapable forms, spaces, roles.
Francis, Wynne. Layton and
Nietzsche. Canadian Literature, no. 67 (Winter, 1976), 39-52.
Laytons poetry since the
Fifties has exemplified various aspects of Nietzschean philosophy, particularly those
concerned with the nature and function of art, and the idea of the poet as a Dionysian
Gervais, C.H., ed. The Writing Life:
historical and critical views of the Tish movement. Coatsworth: Black Moss
Gnarowski, Michael, ed. Leonard Cohen:
the artist and his critics. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1976.
Grant, Judith Skelton, Leonard
Cohens poems-songs. Studies in Canadian Literature, 2:1 (Winter,
Revisions made to five of
Cohens poems when they became songs reveal Cohens ability to rework to good
effect, when moved to do so.
Harvey, Roderick W. bp Nichol: the
repositioning of language. Essays on Canadian Writing, no. 4
(Spring, 1976), 19-33.
Nichol is a courageous
experimentor with poetic language, seeking to revitalize the printed word by going beyond
it. The fragmented verbal universe of electronic technology is reflected, and made whole
again, in the redefined language of an experimental poetry.
Hunt, Peter. Irving Layton,
pseudo-prophet: a reappraisal. Canadian Poetry, no. 1 (Fall-Winter,
Laytons work has been
over-praised by critics. Despite an acknowledged ability to write lyrical and moving
poetry, his responses lack compassion, his rebellion lacks integrity, and his philosophy
Kiverago, Ronald, Local poet
deserves attention: the poetics of David McFadden. Open Letter, ser. 3,
no. 5 (Summer, 1976), 16-26.
McFadden roots his poetic vision
in concepts of organic creativity, and of physical reality as defining identity. He
employs simplifying techniques to portray and criticize the society in which he lives.
Lee, Dennis. Roots and play: writing
as a 35-year-old children. Canadian Childrens Literature, no.
4 (1976), 28-58.
locating of language and images in their own time and space, and play
uninhibited joy in pure nonsense-combine in the best of Lees poems for children.
_____. Savage Fields: an essay in literature and cosmology.
Toronto: House of Anansi, 1977.
Mallinson, Jean. Moving farther north. CV
II, 2:4 (December, 1976), 1011.
Heather Spears expatriate
experience in Denmark has had the effect of increasing her poetic awareness of the English
_____. Words for the unspeakable. Canadian Forum, 56:
661 (May, 1976), 27-30.
Heather Spears and Miriam Mandel,
in chronicling the characteristics of mental breakdown, reassure us that experience may be
mastered through the recording of it, and that in poetry nothing is unspeakable.
Mandel, Eli. Atwood Gothic. Malahat
Review, no. 41 (January, 1977), 165-174.
Atwoods emphasis on mirror
images points to a preoccupation with duplicating and reduplicating which owes much to the
traditional patterns of Gothic horror. Her constant effort is to answer the questions
raised by the reflecting/reflector dilemma.
_____. Writing West: on the road to Wood Mountain. Canadian
Forum, 67:672 (June-July, 1977), 25-29.
[A personal discussion of the
tensions and ambivalences inherent in Canadian literary regionalism.]
Marshall, Tom. Atwood under and
above water. Malahat Reuiew, no. 41 (January, 1977), 89-44.
The essential point of Atwoods work, both
poetry and fiction, is the search for personal and national identity.
Marshall, Tom. On the editing of Quarry in my
distant youth. Poetry Windsor Poésie, 3:1 & 2 (Summer,
[An account of Quarrys founding
and progress, and the poets associated with it, under the editorship of Marshall and
Mathews, Robin. Poetics: the struggle for a voice in
Canada. CV 11, 2:4 (December, 1976), 6-7.
Canadian poetry recovered from its first colonial
era only to be subjected to a second, reflected in the Vancouver Black Mountain
Maud, Ralph. Ethnopoetics: an assessment. CV
II, 3:1 (Spring, 1977), 1619,
Much useful work is being done in this field,
which involves a new approach to the translation of primitive songs and stories. Certain
dangers attend its popularizing as an academic discipline, however; it should remain a
sort of permanent subculture.
McCaffery, Steve. Strata and strategy: pataphysics
in the poetry of Christopher Dewdney. Open Letter, ser.
3 no. 4 (Spring, 1976), 45-56.
An awareness of language as lie
informs Dewdneys poetry, in which fossil functions as an analogy for
linguistic sign, and language is seen as creative only in its inherent tendency to
McFadden, David. The Poets
Progress. Toronto: Coach House Press, 1977.
Melnyk, George. The ghosts that
haunt the poetic lays of Andrew Suknaski, Westerner [Interview]. Books in Canada,
6:4 (April, 1977), 31-32.
Mundweiler, Leslie. After realism:
McFadden and Wayman. CV II, 3:2 (Summer, 1977), 36-40.
Waymans New Realism fails to give language
its full due as a power to re-create a work situation degraded by capitalism.
McFaddens confrontation of the pop culture is exemplary of the re-creative potential
of real language in poetry.
Norris, Ken. Poetic honey: the English poetry scene
in Montreal. Essays on Canadian Writing, no. 6 (Spring, 1977), 66-76.
[A survey of English poetry movements in Montreal
since the 20s, and of the current situation. Appends a short bibliography of
Montreal small presses and little mags.]
_____, and Andre Farkas. David McFadden in
Hamilton. CV II, 3:2 (Summer, 1977), 42-49.
Nowlan, Alden. Something to write
about. Canadian Literature, no. 68-69 (Spring-Summer, 1976), 7-12.
[Nowlan discusses his early life, his development
as a poet, and his response to his Maritime background and environment.]
Oliver, Michael Brian. Dread of the Self: escape and
recognition in the poetry of Alden Nowlan. Essays on Canadian Writing, no.
5 (Fall, 1976), 50-66.
Nowlans reluctance to reveal himself in his
early poetry stems from his inability to define himself in terms of the light/dark
dichotomy of his puritanical environment. His subsequent work chronicles his process of
reconcilement with the past, and with the forces of corruption and death.
_____. The presence of ice: the early poetry of
Alden Nowlan. Studies in Canadian Literature, 1:2 (Summer, 1976),
Nowlans early poetry is
informed by his determination to explore the wilderness of his Maritime heritage. He
depicts the rural Maritime consciousness as divided into levels of rationalism and
passion, separated by the ice of a puritanical religious tradition.
Osterlund, Steven. Fumigator: an outsiders
view of Irving Layton. London: Killaly Press, 1976.
Pearce, Tom. Filling up the whole
round: an interview with Tom Marshall. Queens Quarterly, 83:3
(Autumn, 1976), 413-423.
Paserik, Metro. Yankee Poetry in
British Columbia: the curious case of Tish Magazine. Dos Equis Press, 1977.
Richardson, Keith. Poetry and the colonized mind:
Tish. Oakville: Mosaic Press, 1976.
Rosenberg, Jerome H. On reading the
Atwood papers in the Thomas Fisher Library. Malahat Review, no. 41 (January,
[A personal response to, and
overview of, the collection.]
Ross, Gary. The divided self. Canadian
Literature, no. 71 (Winter, 1976), 39-47.
The poems of Atwoods The Animals in that
Country describe an interior and exterior journey, in the course of which the
poets self becomes progressively more divided. Movement toward reintegration of self
with self takes place in a human, reciprocal context.
Ryan, Sean. Florence McNeil and Pat
Lowther. Canadian Literature, no. 74 (Autumn, 1977), 21-29.
Lowther celebrates the human, but
in the context of elemental and archetypal prehistory. McNeil is more concerned with the
artifacts of human history, and with the presence of the recorded past in our inherited
Sandler, Linda. [Interview with George
Jonas.] Canadian Literature, no. 73 (Summer, 1977), 25-38.
_____. Interview with Margaret Atwood. Malahat Review,
no. 41 (January, 1977), 7-27.
_____. An interview with Robin Skelton. Tamarack Review,
no. 68 (Spring, 1976), 71-85.
Interview with Margaret Atwood. Poetry Windsor Poésie, 2:3 (Fall,
Skelton, Robin. Timeless
constructions: a note on the poetic style of Margaret Atwood. Malahat Review,
no. 41 (Jan., 1977), 107-120.
Atwoods poetic style is
modular-ie. constructed out of moveable building blocks. There is
precedent for this in Pound and Stevens, and in earlier poets. This kind of poetry is
concerned with states of being rather than events; it is non-sequential. [Analyses
Atwoods poetry in these terms.]
Solecki, Sam. Nets and chaos: the
poetry of Michael Ondaatje. Studies in Canadian Literature, 2:1 (Winter,
Reality for Ondaatje is
essentially chaotic; mind and art attempt to net or fence chaos.
Despite his mistrust of a verbal response to experience, this poet has the courage to
confront and describe reality in its full complexity.
Stevens, Peter. The fiery eye: the
poetry of Irving Layton. Ontario Review, no. 4 (Spring-Summer, 1976),
Images of fire and
eye have been constant for Layton throughout a career distinguished by a
developing power of language, a growing acceptance of his own doubleness as man/poet, and
a deepening affirmative vision, in full awareness of evil and ugliness.
Sullivan, Rosemary. Breaking the
circle. Malahat Review, no. 41 (January, 1977), 30-41.
Atwoods attempts to break
out of the circle game of languages, cultural barriers, logic, the self, have
so far been unrealized in her work.
Struthers, J.R. (Tim). An interview
with Margaret Atwood. Essays on Canadian Writing, no. 6 (Spring, 1977),
Tallman, Warren. Wonder merchants:
modernist poetry in Vancouver during the 1960s. Open Letter, Ser. 3,
no. 6 (Winter, 1976-77), 175-207.
American poets Duncan and Creeley
transmitted Olsons concept of proprioception to the young Vancouver
poets, who, unmoved by Laytons humanism or Birneys
eclecticism, caught the modernist fever. When the resulting Tish movement
began to wane, the centre of energy moved to bissetts blew ointment press.
Turner, Gordon P. The breath of
Arctic men: the Eskimo North in poetry from within and without. Queens
Quarterly, 83:1 (Spring, 1976), 13-35.
[A critical survey of traditional
and modern Eskimo poetry, and of poetry about the North written by Southern Canadians.]
Warwick, Ellen D. To seek a single symmetry. Canadian
Literature, no. 71 (Winter, 1976), 21-34.
In her four major collections of
poetry, Gwendolyn McEwan is constructing a mythic frame in which to seek, through
mysticism, love and art, the means of healing a divided world, of making wholeness out of
Webb, Phyllis. Polishing up the
view. CV II, 2:4 (December, 1976),14-15.
[A transcription of a taped
poetry reading and commentary.]
Witten, Mark. Billy, Buddy, and
Michael: the collected writings of Michael Ondaatie. . . . Books in
Canada, 6:6 (June-July, 1977), 9-13.
[A profile of the
Bayard, Caroline and J. David. Out-post/avant-postes.
Erin, Ont.: Press Porcépic, 1977 (Three Solitudes: contemporary literary criticism in
Canada, v. 4).
Farley, T.E. Exiles and Pioneers:
a study in identities. Ottawa: Borealis Press, 1976.
Hodgins, Jack, ed. The West Coast
Experience. Toronto: Macmillan, 1976.
Mandel, Eli. Another time. Erin,
Ont.: Press Porcépic, 1977 (Three Solitudes: Contemporary literary criticism in Canada,
Moisan, Clement. A poetry of frontiers.
Erin, Ont.: Press Porcépic, 1977 (Three Solitudes: contemporary literary criticism in
Canada, v. 5).
Staines, David, ed. The Canadian
Imagination: dimensions of a literary culture. Cambridge: Harvard
University Press, 1977.
Stevens, John, ed. The Ontario
Experience. Toronto: Macmillan, 1976.