Some Annotated Letters of A.J.M. Smith
and Raymond Knister
Edited and With a Critical Introduction by Anne Burke
The editors of the McGill Fortnightly Review place the
beginning of the modern tradition in the mid-twenties. One gains the impression that
the modern idiom in Canada "'sprang full-blown' from the editorial brow of A.J.M.
Smith and F.R. Scott." 1
Smith has been credited with promoting the view that literary developments in Canada were
a generation behind those of the international literary centres. According to Leon
the important thing is that we were young enough, and interested enough
to know that new winds were blowing at the time blowing not only from south of the
border but from across the sea; not only from England, but from France. I think that there
. . . Art, in writing about Yeats and Symbolism. . . [was] one of the earliest in Canada
to make us aware of these things.2
Of the poets from The New Poetry whom Smith mentions having
influenced him, all but one are American.3
Yet the paradox remains that he virtually ignored the sense of strong modern
individualism apparent in the work of some Canadian poets. He failed to look back at
his immediate predecessors, Arthur Stringer and Oliver Call.4 Scott has described the sense of revolutionary change:
. . . it was all through us. There was the general feeling that practically all
poetry particularly Canadian poetry was hardly worth looking at, that
something new had to be found, new methods of expression. . . . We had that feeling
very strongly, perhaps too strongly the feeling that everything was starting
Further, F.R. Scott expressed his surprise at the modernist lack of interest in earlier
poets, including Archibald Lampman, at the Lampman Symposium held at the University of
Ottawa, 2-4 May 1975.
Although characteristic of the rebellious 'twenties, Smith's
short sightedness can be partially explained by his limited knowledge of the Canadian
tradition.6 While at McGill he had
heard only of Carman's Pipes of Pan series and Sappho. (Carman was
unofficially "Poet Laureate" at this time and it is likely Smith attended his
poetry reading in Montreal.)7 One
alumni recalls Carman "then old and frail" who recited, not one of his own
poems, but, strangely, Kipling's "Astrologer's Song."8 Smith has explained:
The atmosphere was a sort of diluted romanticism, a diluted transcendentalism.
Bliss Carman was the only Canadian poet that we had heard of and what we heard, we didn't
care for much. It was only later, when I began to compile books on Canadian poetry,
that I found that Lampman, Roberts and Carman had written some very fine poetry. 9
It was not until the 'forties that he acknowledged the efforts of his contemporaries
like W.W.E. Ross and Dorothy Livesay.10
Smith did not care for what he knew of Wilfred Campbell's Oxford
Book of Canadian Verse and J.W. Garvin's Canadian Poets. These may well have
been texts for "American and Canadian Poetry" a graduate course which Smith took
from Cyrus Macmillan (whom he disliked) and G.W. Latham.11 It consisted of one week of Canadian work taught by
Macmillan and the remainder American. According to Smith,
. . . the kind of thing Dr. Cyrus Macmillan preached, recited and talked about
the poet as a sort of mad faun with maple leaves in his hair well, we thought this
kind of thing needed to be resisted, to be made fun of. And the Canadian Authors'
Association which was a branch of the Canadian Manufacturers' Association at that
time, with respect to culture and literature wanted any poem as long as it was
about a pine tree and a maple leaf, as long as it was swingy and had a moral.12
His master's degree also obliged him to study "Canadian Folk-Songs and
Folk-Tales." Although he attempted to find Canadian writers who were good
enough to be published outside of Canada as early as 1924, 1925 and 1926, it was
not until the late 'twenties that an important relationship between A.J.M. Smith and
Raymond Knister was formed.
Both authors were interested in journalism. Smith was
assistant, then reporter and, on occasion, guest editor for the McGill Daily. He
began book reviewing under Felix Walter at "The Dilletante" and published a
range of entertainment reviews for the Literary Supplement and McGill
Fortnightly (in addition to his editorial duties).13 He worked during the summer on the Montreal Herald.
At Edinburgh he considered journalism as a career. Knister at an early age
became a regular contributor to Farmer's Advocate.14 He made his livelihood as a freelance writer (under
William Arthur Deacon) at Saturday Night, as well as for Canadian Magazine and
other Canadian and American newspapers. He was, at various times, a ghost-writer, a
reader of manuscripts for a correspondence course, and a part-time editor.
Both published many reviews. Smith wrote
editorials. Knister wrote stories. Each was, essentially, a leader and as
such, felt a responsibility to produce critical manifestos in the spirit of his times.
Smith tried his hand at the short story and drama15 but remained a poet while Knister turned increasingly to fiction,
though he wrote fine poetry and published one of his plays.
Both Knister and Smith participated in the modernist
revolution. They rejected established poetic diction; they reacted against what they
perceived to be the decadent Romanticism of Victorian poetry. To some extent they
abandoned fixed forms. In theory and by practice they advocated imagisme and
vers libre. Although Smith used the sonnet and ode, for example, some of his
early poems are less formal. Knister wrote: "I've never had but one
metrical poem published and that so awful a one I am glad it is buried in an unlikely
magazine."16 There are
other striking resemblances. The fact that both were sceptics about political
ideologies accounts for the absence of much social poetry by these poets. Unlike
Knister, who preferred the lyric, Smith used the Yeatsian mask and followed Eliot's idea
that poetry is largely an escape from emotion and not an expression of personality but an
escape from personality. ("I is another".)17 They shared a historical sense of the best models to be
studied, though these models differed considerably. Smith turned, as did other
proponents of the "new poetry", to the Anglo-Saxon ("The Wanderer"),
the Chinese ("Chinoiserie") and the Greek ("Choros").18 He followed the French Symbolistes
and Yeats19 ("Leda,"20 "The Adolescence of Leda" and
"On the Death of W.B. Yeats") and the metaphysicals of the seventeenth century
(whom he studied under Baxter at McGill21
and then Edinburgh) or through Eliot ("To Henry Vaughan," "The Bird,"
"The Two Sides of a Drum"). Smith looked to Edith Sitwell ("A
Hyacinth for Edith") and is mentioned in her introduction to modern criticism;22 to Conrad Aiken ("Punchinello"
series) 23; to e.e. cummings
("Quietly to be Quickly, or Other or Ether") and Vachel Lindsay's "Weary
Blues" ("The Wisdom of Old Jelly Roll"). There are earlier snatches
of popular song (like Eliot) in "Souveniers du temps perdu" from the "jazz
age" of the 'twenties.
Aside from the strictures of Pound, Poetry (in which
Smith and Knister published) represented a war-time renaissance. In its early years
the magazine featured imagisme, imagistes and American associates, but
also helped to introduce new "Chicago" poets, among these Edgar Lee Masters,
Carl Sandburg and Vachel Lindsay. According to Smith,
Occasionally a new writer speaks out with an imperative and original accent, saying
something new, the truth and manner of which compels attention. Such a new voice
rang out in 1915 when Edgar Lee Masters published his "Spoon River Anthology."
Each one of these epitaphs is a deep and significant summing up of the life of an
individual, a novel in a nutshell, and at times a rare and beautiful poem.24
Knister's portraits of "The Horses" and "The Men" of "In the
Rain Sowing Oats"; in "A Row of Stalls", of "Lily" et. al. are
like Masters' portraits of his village people.
In a passage about the "new poetry" Amy Lowell wrote
of Tendencies in Modern American Poetry:
All real changes are almost imperceptible, the final stages, on the other hand, being
so radical that everyone remarks them, and with such astonishment that the cry of 'freak,'
'charlatan,' is almost sure to be raised by ignorant readers.25
Knister is a precursor to the modernist movement in the sense that his work bears
comparison with these earlier transitional poets. Like Edwin Arlington Robinson whom
he reviewed as "A Great Poet of Today"26
his work is exemplified by simple straightforward stanzas about modern life and aims at
the starkness of absolute truth. Note "Wind's Way," "Reply to
August," "Night Whistling," "Moments When I'm Feeling Poems,"
"Autumn Clouds", and others. The complexity of Knister's work, like that
of Robert Frost, has been overlooked because of its surface simplicity, bucolic tone, and
emphasis on exactly what the poet felt. Knister on his Ontario farm resembles the
adolescent Frost especially A Boy's Will, 1913 and North of Boston,
1914. "The Plowman," "Stable Talk," "Feed,"
"February's Forgotten Mitts," "Boy Remembers In the Field," "Lake
Harvest", "White Cat," "Child Dreams," "The Colt,"
"Dog and Cat," and others are purposely about common things and objects.
Carl Sandburg's "Chicago", 1914 and Chicago Poems, 1916 were intended
as one American's response to the land, much as "After Exile" was written as an
individual's response to the environment.27
The relationship between the two men began in February of 1927 when Smith wrote to
Knister expressing his admiration of Knister's work in This Quarter. One
is prompted to pose the obvious question why did Smith wait two years to commend
Knister's work (which had been published in 1925)? One may argue that Smith was
simply late in reading this material but that is unlikely. He subscribed to the
"best" foreign journals, and the English Department reading room at McGill made
available additional copies. In his application form to the Department Head of
English for an M.A. degree he could list publications in The Canadian Forum and The
Measure (New York); later, poems accepted by Mark Van Doren for The Nation and
by Marianne Moore for The Dial. Both Knister and he were fully familiar
with the avant-garde journals of their day since they shared the view that no Canadian
magazine or journal would publish Canadian poetry which was "new, intelligent and
In answer, and to provide a context for the correspondence, it
is important to understand the manner in which their lives converged. Smith was
still in high school when Knister enrolled at Victoria College for five months, (September
to February). Knister became associate editor of The Midland, "the most
important magazine America had produced" according to H.L. Mencken (with John
Frederick, Ruth Suckow, Walter Mullenburg, Nelson Antrim Crawford, George Carver among
others)29 just a year before Smith
founded and edited the Literary Supplement of the McGill Daily. Lack of
funds and its closure by the McGill Daily led Smith to the founding of the McGill
Fortnightly Review. Upon Knister's return from the United States, he was
appointed Canadian correspondent for This Quarter by Ernest Walsh. When
Smith wrote to Knister it was after his graduation from McGill with a graduate
degree. This period has been described in terms of the dispersal of the McGill group
(A.J.M. Smith, F.R. Scott, Leon Edel, and others).30 Smith must have been anticipating the end of the Fortnightly
by April 1927. He would become Edinburgh correspondent for The Canadian
Mercury, but at this juncture he saw himself once again in the position of being an
editor without a journal. Such a condition demands a swift solution. Thus in
his initial letter to Knister, Smith proposed that they herald the long-awaited Canadian
renaissance with a literary journal devoted to accomplished authors: Morley
Callaghan, E.J. Pratt, Merrill Denison, Mazo de la Roche, Wilson MacDonald and Fred
Jacob. Knister was fond of de la Roche's work. He reviewed Possession and
Jalna.31 Among the
manuscripts there is a typescript review of The Witches' Brew, by E.J. Pratt, and
Knister refers to this poet in his column on "Canadian Poets of the Month."32 Wilson MacDonald was a friend whose
work Knister reviewed in "A Poetry in Arms for Poetry."33 He knew Callaghan's work in This
Quarter and met him, as well as Denison and Jacob in Toronto. So, in Knister Smith
struck a responsive note:
The result to be a sort of thick book like This Quarter which, as coming from
Canada, would perhaps waken New York and London to us, and do for the country as you say,
what the Group of Seven had done in its sphere.34
Further, since Knister's fine piece entitled "Canadian Letter" was written
for This Quarter and did not appear, no doubt Knister required just such an
outlet for his writing. He had called for:
a magazine devoted to creative work . . . perhaps only a few pages every month, yet
chosen for vital quality, and which should give a voice to what is actually being lived
Smith's idea coincided with his own. Knister had begun a modest attempt at this
goal. He sent to Smith a copy of The New Outlook in which his literary
column about contemporary authors appeared. He reprinted Smith's poem "The Two
Sides of a Drum" from The Dial.36
For Knister it was "immensely heartening" to find work like Smith's being done
in Canada and he hoped to reprint more of it from time to time.37 Knister decided to use
"Testament and "The Bird" in his column.38 Smith's poems were "the only ones by a new writer
which interest me very much." 39
Indeed, at times Knister seemed somewhat disillusioned with the prospects of Canadian
Reading the output of verse appearing in Canadian magazines and newspapers is a sadly
disappointing business if one is looking for the pure gold of poetry. Perhaps it is too
much to expect to find several fine poems each month, but one is struck by the
disproportion between our literary pretensions and our achievements. 40
In reaction against "a shallow and imitative artistry, occupied with a pallor of
emotion and lack of sincerity," Knister turned to the Montreal poets: "The
McGill Fortnightly has been printing some verse of surprisingly vivid and unhackneyed
quality." Knister was enthusiastic about featuring the work of A.J.M. Smith in
particular because "it is some of the most promising now in evidence in his
Smith told Knister he wished to offset the traditional
gentility of journals like the Canadian Bookman and the Canadian Magazine which
are "vitiating public taste and distorting literary values" 42 (a premise which Smith further developed
and published as "Wanted: Canadian Criticism"). According to Smith,
literature as a whole has fought a losing battle with commerce, but "the campaign as
a whole has barely begun. Reinforcements are on the way." Knister who had
contributed realistic stories of Canadian life to foreign journals represented to him
"definite, if modest success."43
A comparison between "Wanted: Canadian
Criticism" and "A Canadian Letter" reveals some striking similarities.
In "Wanted: Canadian Criticism," Smith described the confusion
between commerce and art in Canada where the artist finds himself without an audience.
There are those "ready to pay handsomely if he will cease to be an artist and
become a merchant."44
Knister faced this problem. He broke off relations with the Star Weekly for
this very reason. In "A Canadian Letter" he wrote:
A man may not take to writing because he wants money (he would be a fool, and otherwise
unedifying) but once caught, he is bound to concern himself with enough money to enable
him to keep coals beneath his resolve to go on writing. He can do that in Canada
partly through one or two prototypical Satevpos and Woman's Companions, by showing that
golf-love-business and country club values are as seductive north of the Great Lakes as
south of them, patting Canada on the back for being like the States; or, emigrating, his
chances are better with more popular magazines, describing a Canada of snow, half-breed
revenge, and beaded-lashed wood-nymphs a Canada the demand for which has subtly
corrupted nearly all efforts at expression.45
Smith, too, objected to an unfortunate popularity at the command of any poet who
hammers a vigorous rhythm out of an abundantment of French and Indian place-names.
If you write, apparently, of the far north and the wild west and the picturesque east,
seasoning well with allusions to the Canada goose, fir trees, maple leaves, snowshoes,
northern lights, etc., the public grasp the fact that you are a Canadian poet, whose works
are to be bought from the same patriotic motives that prompts the purchaser of Eddy's
matches or a Massey-Harris farm implement, and read with Ralph Connor and Eaton's
Knister described the emerging bard of the back concessions who nearly always appeared
in the local paper with a stale catalogue of nature, in the Canadian Magazine,
and presently was bound in a book, "to become one of 'our Canadian poets' sacred from
any response." "The fascination of what's easy has held us."47
Smith explained: "A small population engaged in
subduing its environment and in exploiting the resources of a large new country may very
easily develop an exaggerated opinion of the value of material things and has some
understandable doubts as to the necessity of artists." 48 Knister argued: "Contempt for the printed word
is bound to result on the part of the very people of whom the artist, whether of
completely Tolstoyan conviction or not, and against his will or not, inevitably hopes the
most in a new country."49
Smith's stance appealed to Knister whose frustration with
Canadian publishers has been well documented. He advised Smith:
I have my doubts of Graphic for you, or any other Canadian publisher judging from the
stuff they do print. If you like though you might send me your book and I might get
a hearing for it with Macmillans.50
If publishers Macmillan and Ryerson had complied, Canada would have had two fine books
of modern poetry in the 'twenties. Although this benefit did not result there were
other favourable aspects. The contact between these two key figures of modernism
apparently stimulated activity between the Toronto and Montreal literary circles.51 Knister showed Smith's letter to E.J.
Pratt and Morely Callaghan in Toronto. (Knister was a member of the Canadian
Authors' Association and attended meetings in Toronto in order to make contact with other
writers.) Denison was to pay a visit to Smith in Montreal. Knister invited
Smith to Toronto. When Knister went to Montreal he met with Leo Kennedy, A.J.M.
Smith, Frank Scott and went to McGill to meet Stephen Leacock. With dim prospects
for their book publishing, self-publication seemed all the more important. Smith
suggested that the journal be named "Revision" in view of the need for higher
literary standards in criticism, (and, perhaps as a reflection of his own creative process
of inveterate revising).
What were these higher literary standards in criticism?
According to Knister,
A.J.M. Smith sends his mind groping among concepts and emotions. Of which he
weaves expressionistic lyrics well received in the advanced American literary periodicals.
This reasoning resembles "A Psychological Theory of Values" in which art is
seen as especially valuable to culture because it is able to organize many conflicting
impulses and attitudes efficiently.53
Smith also invoked I.A. Richards' approach to literary theory in the spirit of
science in "Contemporary Poetry" and "Wanted: Canadian
Criticism." Smith explains:
Science has altered not only the character of our everyday life, but has had its
influence on the philosophies by which we interpret that life. . . . Our way of living has
changed; so, too our religious and philosophical ideas. Science again has been the
With the discovery of the atom, Einstein's principle of relativity, the anthropology of
Fraser, so too criticism changed.
Smith calls for the critic contemplative, the philosophical
critic to examine the art in "this new community" (of Canada, of the modern
world). He is seeking to define the relation of criticism and poetry to the
psychological and mathematical sciences.55
Clearly, he will "follow the lead of French and English critics" (like
Richards) in bringing the method of the laboratory to literary study and placing criticism
upon an experimental basis. Richards focused on irony as a basic organizing
principle and a gauge of poetic value. Smith wrote "irony is not
understood" and promoted modern virtues of realism, cynicism even the obscene.56 Richards in "Revelation
Doctrines" of Coleridge turns from science to the Romantics, "when we come to
know what they are really about, [they] come nearer, we shall see, to supplying an
explanation of the value of the arts than any of the other traditional accounts."57 Compare Smith's conclusion in
But what, then, are we to say when the beauty of a poem appeals to us, while its
meaning is somehow hidden? Simply that our faculty of aesthetic appreciation is more
fully developed than our understanding that we are become, God help us! by
natural right, a member of that despised sect the Aesthetes.58
In his foreword to "Windfalls for Cider" Knister
wrote it is a "fine thing to be moved, fine to know that what you write about will
move others." He reveals his anti-romantic stance: he is against those
who "veil it [life] in sonorous phrases and talk about birds and flowers and
dreams." In accord with the tenets of imagism set forth by Pound, "just
place them before the reader with utmost economy and clearness [as] indeniable glimpses of
Both Smith and Knister possessed and referred to in their
writing the "historical sense" which Eliot described as indispensible to anyone
who would be a poet. It involves a perception not only of the "pastness of the
past, but of its presence." It compels a poet to write
not merely with his own generation in his bones, but with a feeling that the whole of
literature from Homer and within it the whole of the literature of his own country has a
simultaneous existence and composes a simultaneous order.60
For Smith, the line of true tradition was simplified by Eliot's concept of the
dissociation of sensibility (said to set in after the seventeenth century).
"From Donne to Brooke, and from Brooke to Eliot, it is a long stretch, but the curve
is continuous."61 For
Knister it meant study of the finest models in Canada as well as abroad and emphatically
"the courage of our experience" so as to "speak according to it only."
In this manner, "we may have our own Falstaffs and Shropshire Lads and Anna
Kareninas." 62 Knister
advises the writer to read the masterpieces of literature, and not of one literature or
one age of literature. "Only in this way will he come to a sense of life as it
has been in the souls of the spokesmen of mankind." The artist will "gain
a knowledge of his instrument, of the weight and texture of language." The true
writer will be impelled to attempt a contribution of his own before reaching the goal of
reading all of the masterpieces. "But before he begins let him study the best
short stories of which he can obtain cognizance. All the kinds; not merely one
school. . . ." By reading many of the masters of the form the writer can escape
from the disadvantages of a single technique and, "if he is gifted, he can strive,
though probably he will not succeed, to combine disparate virtues in his view of existence
to make a new form of his own."63
Set higher standards for yourself than the organized mediocrity of the authors'
associations dares to impose. Be traditional, catholic, and alive. Study the
poets of today whose language is living and whose line is sure Eliot, Pound, the
later Yeats, and Auden. Read the French and German poets whose sensibility is most
intensely that of the modern world Baudelaire, Rimbaud, and Rainer Maria Rilke.
Read, if you can, the Roman satirists.64
Knister recommends Schnitzler and O. Henry. He concludes: "study at
best will help him articulate; and if his eye be true and his emotions universal and
directed, he will be one of the artists for which Canada has awaited. . . ." 65
Smith's early critical writing concentrates on modern poetry
as part of an international zeitgheist including the fine arts, the rise of
modern science, the psychology of Freud, and Darwinism. We find only passing
references to Edward Sapir, Morley Callaghan, Mazo de la Roche, E.J. Pratt and Wilson
MacDonald. Knister tends to focus on Canada. For example, in his study of "The
Poetic Muse in Canada" the nineteenth-century poets, Carman, Wilson MacDonald, D.C.
Scott, Roberts and Lampman are featured.66
Knister assesses the relative merits of Isabella Valancy Crawford, Wilfred
Campbell, Charles G.D. Roberts, Bliss Carman ("the end of an epoch"), Duncan
Campbell Scott (the "best" of his time), Henry Drummond and Marjorie Pickthall.
He has an acute critical sense and in an almost uncanny way he anticipates Smith's
selections for The Book of Canadian Poetry, a project in which he was eager to
participate as a collaborator or joint-editor. In his letter to Smith of 3 June,
1928 Knister wrote:
Your scheme of an anthology of Canadian poetry is a good one. I had considered
such a thing, but given up the idea of doing it alone; but if you would like to do it,
there's no one I'd rather be associated with in it, and I think it is a case in which two
editors would be better than one. My idea would be a small collection of pure
poetry, old and new, a decided contrast with Garvin's and other anthologies.
In "The Poetic Muse in Canada" after supplying the "landmarks of
Canadian poetry" he moves on to the moderns. He chooses to discuss Louise Morey
Bowman, Frank Oliver Call, Arthur Stringer, A.J.M. Smith and Dorothy Livesay.
By August of 1928 Smith wrote to commend Knister's sound and
temperate critical work.67 He
may have had the introduction to Canadian Short Stories in mind. This was
the first anthology of its kind which sought to bring together a Canadian tradition of
short fiction with a bibliography of the authors. Knister had also produced essays on
"The Poetry of Archibald Lampman," "The Poetical Works of Wilfred
Campbell" and "Duncan Campbell Scott."68
Smith and Knister shared a profound appreciation for the work
of Duncan Campbell Scott although their expressions of it emerged at different times in
their literary careers. Smith's seminal essays, "The Poetry of Duncan Campbell
Scott", for Dalhousie Review 69
and "Duncan Campbell Scott: A Reconsideration", for Our Living Tradition70 (an abbreviated version
of which appeared in Canadian Literature) 71 influenced some scholars at "The Duncan Campbell Scott
Symposium" in Ottawa (27-29 April 1979)72
but one cannot ignore Knister's earlier criticism. He prepared a lecture on Scott
for the Poetry Society of Canada. It was read by his "dear professor"
Pelham Edgar at Victoria College, Toronto, on 8 March, 1927. He reviewed the Collected
Poems 73and The Witching of
Elspie: A Book of Stories.74
He discovered the ballads were a link between the other poetry and Scott's
prose stories. Finally, he dedicated his Canadian Short Stories to Scott.
According to Knister Scott's poetry is "a contribution important and permanent
as human reckonings go, to Canadian literature."75 Smith found "the classical virtues of restraint and
precision" "the calm, scholarly, polished quality of his verse, which in its
very nature is calculated to appeal to the reflective and knowledgeable few." 76
Knister received Scott's gratitude and a leaf from the grave
of Keats. (Knister had praised "Ode for the Keats Centenary" as "a
contribution hardly to be surpassed in English literature".)77 Smith did not meet Scott until 1941.
Scott saw him as "one of the new school which is to save Canadian poetry from
its shackles,"78 one of the
"protagonists of the Modern Movement in Poetry" whom Scott found "most
hospitable to the old poets."79
Scott read from "In the Country Churchyard" to Smith "in the great
booklined room of his Ottawa house a day or two after his eightieth birthday."80 As Smith was leaving, he inscribed
for him a copy of his first book, The Magic House and Other Poems.
Knister related the Confederation poet to Modernism. He
believed that Scott's poetry ranked among the highest in terms of:
comparatively youthful matters of technique which have become accepted as traditional,
pain and passion and longing, lonely love and longed-for death, snowflakes and rose
leaves, high desire and laughter and tears, flutters of hope and falser fancies thronging
perhaps he had gone as far as may be by invoking these things by name and reasoning
about them, rather than invoking them, more poignantly. . . . Yet he has done that
too, many times, in poems which are almost completely objective, or which even convey
themselves solely by inference."81
Smith argued: "But Duncan Campbell Scott is not an Imagist poet, and all his
observations, impressions, and experiences are put to use." 82
Unfortunately their hopes for "Revision" never
materialized. The older and younger writers appeared irreconcilable and the
necessary financing was not forthcoming. The great Depression intervened. The
buoyant optimism of the 'twenties was gone. Smith struggled to obtain teaching
assignments in the mid-west until his permanent appointment at Michigan State College in
1936. As late as August 1931 (in a letter to Leo Kennedy) Knister continued to
express interest in setting up an independent magazine to provide a forum for creative
writing, poems and stories based on the felt-need Smith had outlined. However
it was not until The Book of Canadian Poetry, 1943 that Smith included him.
In a brief note83 Smith errs in
identifying Knister's birthplace as Blenheim, (Knister was born at Ruthven near Comber,
Ontario.) Knister did not publish in Transition although Smith is correct about Poetry
[Chicago] and This Quarter. He limits Knister's contribution to "farm
poems," and the two published novels White Narcissus and My Star
Predominant. Smith commends "the excellent critical introduction" of Canadian
Short Stories, which he deems "a useful anthology." Like Smith
Knister was indeed "one of the first critics to welcome the new-poetry movement in
Canada." However Smith failed to list any of Knister's published criticism in
Smith reprinted "The Ploughman", "Stable
Talk", "Feed", "The Hawk", and "Change" in section
five, "Modern Poetry: The Native Tradition". In his introduction
Smith groups Knister with Dorothy Livesay, W.W.E. Ross and the later poets, Anne Marriott,
and Charles Bruce (subsequently adding Louis Dudek and Raymond Souster in other editions).
According to Smith: these poets represent a certain "aspect" of the
modern movement, a simplification of technique. They turned
against rhetoric, sought a sharper, more objective imagery, and limited themselves as
far as possible to the language of everyday and the rhythms of speech. . . . [Their]
aims were those of realism. These poets sought to render with a new faithfulness
much that had been passed over as 'unpoetic' by previous generations.84
Smith's phrase, "limited themselves" is telling. It is as if Smith
critically defines himself in opposition to Knister. Knister represents to him
"simplification and realism"; whereas Smith aligns himself with "individual
and subtle rhetorics" related to the metaphysicals. According to Smith
Knister's outlook was native rather than cosmopolitan. Smith announces that this native
school "was replaced" by the Cosmopolitan Tradition.85
Sutherland attacked Smith's confusion of the Native Tradition
with the romantic nature poets.86 He
asserted the true "native" poetry was that of direct realism and simple
language. The modern school was essentially local and particular. He was
preoccupied with the 'forties poets and does not mention Knister in terms of the
continuing tradition which still flourishes. He devalued the very metaphysical and
cosmopolitan poets favoured by Smith terming them merely "colonials".
Smith modified his view in later editions by asserting the
division was actually within the individual poet, no doubt prompted by Northrop Frye's
review of The Book of Canadian Poetry87.
This was an approach Knister had taken in his description of Duncan Campbell Scott,
Much of such work, prose and verse, might have been written anywhere in the
English-speaking world, by a man cultured, urbane, of keen observation and delicate
imagination. But there is enough that could have been conceived only in Canada by a
son of Canada to give the work an indigenous value independent of the fact that on purely
literary bases it ranks among the highest which has been produced here." 88
Although Smith himself did not collect Knister's poetry for
Lorne Pierce he did believe that such a collection would be "an event of the first
importance" and that by 1945 he hoped this would be done soon because it was
After his death Knister continued to exert an influence over Smith's work. When
Smith began the exploratory stage of his Book of Canadian Prose he had at hand a
copy of Knister's letter to Lorne Pierce (dated 20 August, 1932 from Stony Point) on the
difficulties of compiling a Canadian prose anthology.
If we choose merely for excellent prose, most of our better journalists and magazine
writers can do better than our 'old masters' . . . if we want only superlative prose,
chosen in the spirit with which Geroge [George] Moore picked his "Pure Poetry"
we would have a very small anthology, unless we gave whole selections, essays and short
stories and passages from novels and travel books.
In the matter of quality, however, it is quite possible that
the last ten years have supplied us with more than any other decade. 90
Knister refers to many writers of non-fiction including politicians. Of fiction,
"if we want merely excellent descriptions and reasonable analysis, the quantity is
ample" but this is "different from a page of narrative that has
everything." He mentions Mazo de la Roche and Morley Callaghan; and he calls
for the re-issue of Duncan Campbell Scott's In The Village of Viger. "Your
purpose", Knister wrote, is both comprehensive and representative, the best writing
done in the country. Smith found Knister's observations very helpful as he embarked
on his Rockefeller Fellowship to study Canadian prose literature.
Smith regarded Knister as "certainly the first critic"
to write about the McGill Fortnightly poets who later appeared in New
Provinces.91 Why, then,
was Knister not included in this significant anthology? Smith argued for the
inclusion of Dorothy Livesay and W.W.E. Ross, and lost. His introduction was
rejected. No doubt he was thoroughly disheartened.
Nevertheless, with the wisdom of hindsight I can see that the book [New Provinces]
could have been just that much better and more useful had we broadened even more the scope
of our interest and included some poems of [Raymond Knister].92
Of the nine letters published for the first time here six are
now contained in the Knister collection of McMaster University. In all there are five
letters from Smith and four by Knister. (Many of the incoming and outgoing letters
in Knister's possession were discarded for various reasons over the years. The
letters of A.J.M. Smith are particularly difficult to locate since he did not use carbons
or retain earlier drafts.) In part, I was able to supplement the McMaster holdings
with material from the Smith collections at the University of Toronto and Trent
University. The correspondence runs from 12 February, 1927 to 24 August, 1928.
Some are in long-hand and other typed. (This is indicated by the standard
abbreviations ALS and TLS respectively.) The letters are numbered in chronological
sequence. I have provided commentary about relevant background information and
explicated references or allusions from the text in the notes immediately following each
letter. The text is verbatim except for some obvious errors which I corrected but I
have clearly indicated my editorial insertions by square brackets. I have kept my
intervention to a minimum because I believe there is an integrity to the text these
letters were often written in haste or with urgency. The tone is enthusiastic and
youthful. Smith has a habit of using small case for the word "Canadian".
Knister's ideas appear to flow more rapidly than his typewriter.
* * *
I wish to thank the librarians of the Thomas Fischer Rare Book
Room and Kenneth W. Johnson of Trent University Archives for their assistance, but
especially Imogen Givens, Peter Smith, and William Toye, literary executor for the Estate
of A.J.M. Smith, without whose permission this material could not be made available.
Further, all quotations from the authors' manuscripts mentioned in this
introduction are made with their kind permission.
Notes to the Introduction
Louis Dudek and Michael Gnarowski, eds The Making of Modern Poetry in Canada:
Essential Articles on Contemporary Canadian Poetry in English. (Toronto:
Ryerson,1970), p. 3. Of particular interest to this discussion are "The
Beginnings of the Modern School: The Precursors (1910-1925)" and "The
Initiators (1926-1936)," pp. 3-41.[back]
"The Fortnightly's Forthright Four." The McGill News, Autumn
1963, p. 17.[back]
The New Poetry: An Anthology of Twentieth-Century Verse In English.
Eds. Harriet Monroe and Alice Corbin Henderson. (New York: Macmillan,
1917. Rpt. 1923 rev.; 1925, 1926, 1927). Mentioned by A.J.M. Smith, "The
Confessions of a Compulsive Anthologist 1976," in On Poetry and Poets:
Selected Essays of A.J.M. Smith. New Canadian Library No. 143 (Toronto:
McClelland and Stewart, 1977), p. 107. Observation cited by F.R. Scott. "Arthur
James Marshall Smith: A Memoir." Unpublished paper read at the A.J.M. Smith
Symposium, Michigan State University, 8 May 1976. I wish to express my thanks to
Scott for having made a copy of his paper available to me.
Oliver Call is not listed in The Book of Canadian Poetry, 1943. Smith
lists Arthur Stringer under "Varieties of Romantic Sensibility" with "The
Knight Errant," "War", and "Sour Wine". In the biographical
prelude he does not refer to Open Water, 1914.
"The Fortnightly's Forthright Four," The McGill News, p. 17.
As Smith has admitted in "Canadian Literature of Today and Tomorrow",
Proc. of Second Annual Conference of the Canadian Library Association, Vancouver, June
1947, pp. 1-8, he did not begin to understand Canadian literature until he left Canada.
Throughout the forties he published essays about his appreciation of the Canadian
tradition with "cosmopolitan" reservations: "Our Poets," 1942,
"Colonialism & Nationalism In Canadian Poetry Before Confederation," 1944,
and "The Fredericton Poets", 1946, for example.
See: "Poet Bliss Carman is Delightful." McGill Daily,
29 Oct. 1921, pp. 1, 3. (An advertisement was placed in the McGill Daily,
22 Oct. 1921, p. 1 for a Montreal public reading. Further, an editorial in the McGill
Daily Literary Supplement 10 Dec. 1924, p. 2, (probably written by Smith)
announces a lecture by Carman and indicates the "Poet Laureate's" willingness to
assist student writers with their poetry. We know that Smith attended a meeting of
the Canadian Authors' Association on the occasion of F.R. Scott's "When the Canadian
Authors Meet" from a note by Smith in The Blasted Pine: An Anthology of
Satire, Invective and Disrespectful Verse (Toronto: Macmillan, 1957. Rpt.
1967), p. 158. However we can only conjecture if Smith ever met with Bliss Carman.[back]
Mrs. H. Wyatt Johnston (Beatrice Lyman). 'What McGill Was And Wasn't'
in "The Changing Campus Scene: The Nineteen Twenties." Chap. 1.
The McGill You Knew: An Anthology of Memories 1920-1960. (Don
Mills, Ontario: Longman Canada, 1975) p. .[back]
"The Fortnightly's Forthright Four," The McGill News, p. 16.
This despite "Canadian Poetry A Minority Report," University of
Toronto Quarterly, 8 (Jan., 1939), 125-38. Rpt. in Towards a View of
Canadian Letters: Selected Critical Essays 1928-1971. (Vancouver:
Univ. of British Columbia, 1973), pp. 174-85. Smith wrote "little need to say
much here" of the proletarian poetry of Dorothy Livesay and Leo Kennedy. He
refers to W.W.E. Ross and Robert Finch. This article sounds like Smith's research
proposal for the Guggenheim Fellowship which he held 1941-42.[back]
Smith's concept of cosmopolitanism resembles the thesis of Latham's course as
outlined by Leon Edel in "Portrait of a Professor: G.W. Latham
(1871-1947)," The McGill News, Summer 1947, pp. 8-10.
It was his great delight to demonstrate how American literature sprang from Old World
sources and influences and how at first American writers like their Canadian
counterparts were merely a continuation in New World surroundings, of the literary
forms and habits of the Old; and then, with consummate skill, he would show this
literature gradually taking deeper root in its own soil and finally achieving an identity
of its own until, in our time, it, in turn, has begun to exercise an independent influence
on its parent literature and upon other literatures. He thus made us aware of
something larger than the nationalism of literature. He showed us how the
cross-fertilization of ideas among different nations makes for richness, for universality,
for a world view and an international kinship of the mind. (p. 10.)
When I interviewed Smith 2 July, 1978 at Magog, Quebec he fondly recalled G.W. Latham
as a wonderful teacher and a good man. His opinion of Cyrus MacMillan was markedly
different. Smith said, "We all hated him." In relation to Smith's
own career it should be noted that Latham was an American expatriate teaching at McGill
University who advocated intellectual "reciprocity" between Canada and the
United States. Smith became a Canadian expatriate teaching at Michigan State
- "The Fortnightly's Forthright Four." The McGill News, p. 16.[back]
- Smith wrote articles, among these "Maps," McGill Daily, 14 March
1923, p.3. "The Poetry of W.B. Yeats." McGill Daily, 21 Nov.
1923, p. 3. "Anatole France." McGill Daily Literary Supplement,
15 Oct. 1924, p. 1. and "The Poetry of Harry: A Critical
Examination." McGill Daily Literary Supplement, 26 Nov. 1924, pp. 1,
Some of Smith's theatre reviews are: "The
Gingham Girl." McGill Daily, 5 Dec. 1923, p. 3.; "So This is
London." McGill Daily 13 Feb. 1924, p.3. "Leap Year
Lapses." McGill Daily, 27 Feb. 1924, p. 3. Some of his book reviews of
this period are: St. Francis of Assisi, by G.K. Chesterton. McGill Daily,
19 Dec. 1923, p. 3. Last Poems, by A.E. Housman. McGill Daily 27
Feb. 1924, p. 3. Parodies on Walt Whitman, edited by Henry S. Saunders, McGill
Daily, 12 March 1924, p. 3.
Besides his editorials for the "Literary Supplement"
Smith published entertainment reviews: "The Goose Hangs High," by Lewis
Beach. McGill Daily Literary Supplement, 8 Oct. 1924, p.3.
"Julia Arthur in'Saint Joan' Great Acting in Great Play." Saint Joan,
by G.B. Shaw. McGill Daily Literary Supplement, 15 Oct. 1924, pp.
3-4. "Bulldog Drummond." McGill Daily Literary Supplement, 22
Oct. 1924, p. 3. "Cleverness Dominates Princess Bill." McGill
Daily Literary Supplement, 29 Oct. 1924, p. 3. "Ace High." McGill
Daily Literary Supplement, 12 Nov. 1924, p. 3. "Isa Kramer recital at
Orpheum." McGill Daily Literary Supplement, 12 Nov. 1924, p. 3.
"Witty Satire, Song and Comedy in Charlot's Revue." McGill Daily Literary
Supplement, 26 Nov. 1924 p. 3. Smith published several book reviews: Daedalus,
by J.S. Haldane. McGill Daily Literary Supplement, 8 Oct. 1924, pp. 1, 4. Distressing
Dialogue, by Nancy Boyd. McGill Daily Literary Supplement, 8 Oct.
1924, p. 4. Icarus, by Bertrand Russell. McGill Daily Literary
Supplement, 15 Oct. 1924, pp. 2, 4. Nature of a Crime, by Joseph
Conrad and Ford Madox Ford. McGill Daily Literary Supplement, 5 Nov. 1924,
p. 4. Leviathan, by William Bolitho. McGill Daily Literary
Supplement, 26 Nov. 1924, p. 4.
For a complete listing, see: Anne Burke, "A.J.M.
Smith: An Annotated Bibliography". In The Annotated Bibliography of
Canada's Major Authors. (Toronto: E.C.W. Press, forthcoming), IV. [back]
- Knister published some early journalism in farmers' periodicals as well as a cartoon
entitled "The Broken Lines Will Mean Disaster," (Farmer's Sun, 9 July
1921). For a complete listing of reviews and articles see: Anne Burke.
"Raymond Knister: An Annotated Bibliography." in The Annotated
Bibliography of Canada's Major Authors. eds. Robert Lecker and Jack
David. (Toronto: E.C.W. Press, 1981), III, pp. 281-322.[back]
- His attempts at fiction include: "Etude on a Mean-Soul," McGill
Daily, 31 Jan. 1923, p. 3. "Our Daphne." McGill Daily 31
Oct. 1923, p. 3. "The Apple Tree," McGill Daily Literary Supplement, 19
Nov. 1924, pp. 2, 3. "The Camel and The Needle's Eye." McGill Daily
Literary Supplement, 4 Feb. 1925, p. 1.
manuscripts at Trent University Archives there are: "Older Men"; Chapters
1 "On Bald Heads and Wigs" and 2 "On Love in a Frigid Place, a spoof on In
Praise of Older Women, by Stephen Vizinczey; on paper from Camp Oneida dated 1924, a
typescript of "Thank Godova! A Chronicle Play", "Red Dawn" a play, and
some other early literary efforts.
In an interview with me 2 July 1978 at Magog, Quebec Smith
remarked that his stories were markedly influenced by W.B. Yeats. He forsook fiction
because, despite the impressionistic style he achieved, he failed to develop character and
- Letter. Raymond Knister to Florence Randall Livesay, 15 Sept. 1925.
Livesay Papers, Rare Book Room, Cameron Library, University of Alberta, Edmonton,
Alberta. Folder 81 a transfer case from Queen's University Archives. He must
be referring to "A New Year's Reverie," Farmer's Advocate, 10 Jan.
1918, p. 57. Rpt. as "R's Advocate: A New Year's Reverie," in Journal
of Canadian Fiction, No. 14 (1975), p. 22. Yet he praises a poem by Livesay
entitled "To a Certain Book" for what he calls its "so significant cosy
simplicity" and goes on to explain.
You see I too would like to write metrical things. But doesn't it seem that
literary criticism is less open-minded than any work of art? An artist may go from
one manner to another without fear of losing the interest he has won. It is in the
case of the novelist, I suppose, that this is most obvious (since poets are supposed to be
One couldn't imagine Galsworthy, say, in mid-career becoming interested in trying to
rival Dorothy Richardson. I think such an influence, imaginary or not, would hinder
a writer from arriving at an aesthetic of his own.[back]
- je est un autre borrowed from Rimbaud, a phrase Smith has used frequently.
For example, in his essay "A Self-Review" and more recently in "The
Voice to go with the Room," an interview with Smith conducted by Gordon Johnston and
Michael Peterman of Trent University in Friends of the Bata Library, No. 2 (April
1979-Feb. 1980), .[back]
- In "Vorticism" (1914), Pound wrote that he "began this search for the
real in a book called Personae, casting off, as it were, complete masks of the
self in each poem. I continued in long series of translations, which were but more
elaborate masks." "Vorticism," Fortnightly Review, 1 Sept.
1914, pp. 463-64. Smith may have looked to Pound for the work of earlier French and
Italian poets (in Smith's canon, "La Vièrge, Le Vivace et Le Bel Aujourd'Hui.
After Stéphane Mallarmé," "The Ship of Gold. After Émile
Nelligan," "Perdix. After Paul Morin," "May Song. After Jacques
Prevert," "Pastel. After Theophile Gautier," "Canticle of St.
John. After Stéphane Mallarmé;" "A Pastoral Adapted from Cavalcanti's
Ballata IX 'In un boschetto trovai pastorella' "). Smith too was interested in
the classical Greek and Latin ("Hellencia," "The Plot Against
Proteus," "To A Young Poet," "To Anthea," "An Illiad For His
Summer Sweetheart. And if she play with me with her shirt off,/ We shall construct
many Iliads. E.P., Homage to Sextus Propertius," "Ode: The
Eumenides," "They Say," "Shadows There Are" "News of the
Phoenix"). Where Pound looked to the German, Smith offers "At Twenty-Six.
From the Hungarian of Ferenc Juhasz," and "When I Was A Thrush.
From the Hungarian of Zoltan Zelk." Smith studied Anglo-Saxon literature at
McGill University and published "The Wanderer," in the McGill Daily Literary
Supplement, 18 February 1925, p. 2. He published two poems with the title
"Chinoiserie," one with a collaborator in the McGill Daily Literary
Supplement, 4 March 1925, p. 3 and the other subtitled "After Theophile
Gautier." Smith sometimes speaks in the person of the troubadour and the
- In a letter to me, Files his thesis supervisor for the M.A. praised his ability in
completing "The Poetry of W.B. Yeats." Leon Edel has argued that Smith's
real interest lay in the moderns. Leon Edel, "Literary Revolution: The
Montreal Group," in "When McGill Modernized Canadian Literature." Chap. 12.
In The McGill You Knew, p. 121.[back]
- "Leda." McGill Fortnightly Review, 3 Nov. 1926, p. 7. [back]
- F.W. Baxter who taught at McGill from 1925 to 1926 was a seventeenth-century
specialist. At Trent University Archives there are letters from Baxter praising
Smith's acumen and from H.J.C. Grierson about the preparation of Smith's thesis,
"Studies in the Metaphysical Poets of the Anglican Church." Grierson
recommends Smith as a sound scholar and thoughtful student. This is high praise from
the editor of Metaphysical Lyrics which was reviewed by T.S. Eliot in "The
- That is, Smith's poem, "Ballade un peu Banale" is mentioned. Sitwell
is outraged by the "impertinence of using Mr. Eliot's name in such a context." Aspects
of Modern Poetry. (London: Duckworth, 1934), pp. 33-4.[back]
- I refer to Smith's reworking of "Varia," "Punchinello in a Purple
Hat," and "Three Phases of Punch". Compare Aiken's "Punch"
series. Smith's "Punchinello" is modelled on Punch: The Immortal
Liar, Documents In His History published in book form (New York: Alfred A.
Knopf, 1921) 80 pp.[back]
- "The New Spoon River: A Review." McGill Daily Literary
Supplement, 19 Dec. 1924, pp. 2-4. Knister reviewed The Spoon River
Anthology, a copy of which is at McMaster University archives.[back]
- Tendencies in Modern American Poetry (Boston and N.Y.: Houghton
Mifflin, 1917), p. 3. [back]
- "A Great Poet of To-day, Edwin Arlington Robinson, Author of 'The Man Against
the Sky'. " The New Outlook, 30 June 1926, pp. 6, 27.[back]
- "After Exile" was "to synthesize one individual reaction to the
environment that represents his country." Letter to Mrs. F.R. Livesay. 15
Sept. 1925. Victoria University Library, Toronto. [back]
- A.J.M. Smith, "The Confessions of a Compulsive Anthologist 1976," p. 107.[back]
- Raymond Knister. "The Land is Full of Voices." Saturday Night, 1
Dec. 1928, p. 6.[back]
- Leon Edel. "Literary Revolution: The Montreal Group." In
The McGill You Knew, pp. 112-22.[back]
- "The Book of the Week," Rev. of Possession The Border Cities Star, 14
April 1923, sec. 2, p. 2; "An Appreciation of Jalna." The Canadian
Bookman, 10 (Feb. 1928), 54.[back]
- The New Outlook, 31 Aug. 1927, p. 7. Pratt "rarely publishes in
magazines" and "is not at his best in a description of an iceberg" in
"The Sea Cathedral" in The Canadian Forum, May 1927, p. 237.[back]
- The Canadian Magazine, 68 (Oct. 1927), 28, 38-9.[back]
- Letter, 17 Feb. 1927.[back]
- "Canadian Letter." In The First Day of Spring: Stories and Other
Prose. (Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press, 1976), pp. 377-82.[back]
- "The Two Sides of a Drum." The Dial, 81, No.6 (Dec. 1926),
482. Rpt. in The New Outlook, 2 Feb. 1927, p. 27.[back]
- Letter. 20 July, 1927.[back]
- "Testament." Rpt. in The New Outlook, 20 July 1927, p. 6.
from McGill Fortnightly Review, 10 March 1927, p. 56. Also The Canadian
Forum, Aug. 1930, p. 402.
"The Bird." The
Measure, No. 62 (April 1926), p. 7. from McGill Fortnightly Review 22 March
1926, p. 75 (psuedonym of "S".) Rpt. in The New Outlook, 21 Sept.
1927, pp. 14, 25. Also The Canadian Forum, June 1927, p. 271.[back]
- Letter. 17 Feb. 1927.[back]
- "Canadian Poems of the Month: A Varied List, With a Few Worth
While." The New Outlook, 31 Aug. 1927, p. 7.[back]
- "Canadian Poets of the Month: The Contribution of Our Poets During
February." The New Outlook, 2 Feb. 1927, p. 6. Knister alludes to
Smith's work in Voices, The Nation and The Dial. "The
sophistication of this poet which places an unusual range of method and approach at his
disposal, and his feeling which is becoming more subjective and obscure, causes curiosity
as to his development." Knister quotes "Flame and Fountain" as an
example of "emotional complexities lit up by rigorously searching intellect."[back]
- Letter. 23 Feb. 1927.[back]
- The Canadian Forum, April 1928, Rpt. in The Making of Modern Poetry in
Canada, p. 32. [back]
- The Making of Modern Poetry in Canada, p. 31.[back]
- In The First Day of Spring, p. 379.[back]
- The Making of Modern Poetry in Canada, p. 32.[back]
- The First Day of Spring, p. 378.[back]
- The Making of Modern Poetry in Canada, p. 31.[back]
- The First Day of Spring, p. 379.[back]
- Letter. 15 Jan. 1928.[back]
- Marcus Waddington, "Raymond Knister: A Biographical Note." Journal
of Canadian Fiction, 4, No. 2 (1975), 175-92. I am indebted to "Raymond
Knister and the Canadian Short Story", an M.A. thesis, Carleton, 1977 for the
germinal idea for this project.[back]
- "The Poetic Muse in Canada." Saturday Night, 6 Oct. 1928, p. 22.[back]
- "A Psychological Theory of Value." Chap. 7. In Principles
of Literary Criticism. (first published New York: 1924. Rpt. London:
Kegan Paul 1925). Cited by Walter Sutton. American Free Verse: The
Modern Revolution in Poetry. (New York: New Directions, 1973) p. 154.[back]
- "Contemporary Poetry." McGill Fortnightly Review, 15 Dec. 1926.
Rpt. in The Making of Modern Poetry in Canada, p. 27.[back]
- "Wanted: Canadian Criticism." The Making of Modern Poetry
in Canada, p. 33.[back]
- "Wanted: Canadian Criticism," p. 33.[back]
- "Truth and Revelation Theories." Chap. 33. In Principles
of Literary Criticism.[back]
- The Making of Modern Poetry in Canada, p. 30.[back]
- Collected Poems of Raymond Knister. Ed. Dorothy Livesay. (Toronto:
Ryerson, 1949), p. vii[back]
- T.S. Eliot, "Tradition and the Individual Talent," 1917 and in The
Sacred Wood, 1920. Rpt. Selected Essays 1917-1932. (London:
Faber and Faber 1932), p. 14.[back]
- "Contemporary Poetry," The Making of Modern Poetry in Canada p.
- Introduction to ["Windfalls for Cider."] In Collected Poems of
Raymond Knister. p. viii. [back]
- In "The Canadian Short Story," The Canadian Bookman, 5
(Aug.1923),203-4. Rpt. in The First Day of Spring, pp. 388-392.[back]
- In "Canadian Poetry A Minority Report," 1939. Towards A View of
Canadian Letters, p. 185.[back]
- "The Canadian Short Story." The First Day of Spring, p. 392.[back]
- Saturday Night, 6 Oct. 1928, pp. 3, 22.[back]
- Letter. 11 Aug. 1928.[back]
- "The Poetry of Archibald Lampman," Dalhousie Review, 7 (Oct.
1927), 348-61, "The Poetical Works of Wilfred Campbell." Queen's
Quarterly, 31 (May 1924), 435-39; "Duncan Campbell Scott." Willison's
Monthly, Jan. 1927, pp. 295-96.[back]
- Dalhousie Review 28 (1948) 12-21.[back]
- Our Living Tradition, Second and Third Series. Ed. R.L. McDougall,
(Toronto: University of Toronto Press with Carleton University, 1959), pp. 73-94.[back]
- Canadian Literature No. 1 (Summer 1959), pp. 13-25.[back]
- "The Duncan Campbell Scott Symposium," ed. and intro. K.P. Stich.
Reappraisals: Canadian Writers Series, No. 6. (Ottawa: Univ. of Ottawa Press,
1980), 155 pp.[back]
- "Duncan Campbell Scott," Willison's Monthly Jan. 1927, pp.
- The Border Cities Star [Windsor], 22 Dec. 1923, Sec. 4, p. 7.[back]
- "Duncan Campbell Scott," From Willison's Monthly, Rpt. in Duncan
Campbell Scott: A Book of Criticism. ed. S.L. Dragland, (Ottawa:
The Tecumseh Press 1974), p. 71.[back]
- "The Poetry of Duncan Campbell Scott," from Dalhousie Review. Rpt.
in Duncan Campbell Scott, p. 105.[back]
- "Duncan Campbell Scott," Duncan Campbell Scott, p. 68.[back]
- Cited by S.L. Dragland. Duncan Campbell Scott, p. 103 (no source).[back]
- Cited by S.L. Dragland. Duncan Campbell Scott, p. 65.[back]
- "Duncan Campbell Scott," Duncan Campbell Scott, p. 133.
Also mentioned in "The Poetry of Duncan Campbell Scott." Duncan
Campbell Scott, p. 113.[back]
- "Duncan Campbell Scott,"Duncan Campbell Scott, pp. 70-71.[back]
- "Duncan Campbell Scott," Duncan Campbell Scott, p. 132.[back]
- The Book of Canadian Poetry, (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1943),
- "Introduction", The Book of Canadian Poetry, 1943, pp. 28-29.[back]
- "Introduction", The Book of Canadian Poetry, 1943, p. 29.[back]
- "Introduction" to Other Canadians (Montreal: First
Statement Press, 1947).[back]
- "Canada and Its Poetry," The Canadian Forum, Dec. 1943.[back]
- "Duncan Campbell Scott," Duncan Campbell Scott, p. 70.[back]
- Letter to Dorothy Livesay. 24 June 1944; letter to Dorothy Livesay. 19
December 1945. "The Dorothy Livesay Papers," Rare Book Room, Cameron
Library, University of Alberta. The original letters are among "The Raymond
Knister Papers," The Lorne Pierce Collection, Queen's University Archives, Queen's
University, Kingston, Ontario.[back]
- Letter. "The Dorothy Livesay Papers," also "The Raymond Knister
Papers," Queen's University Archives.[back]
- Letter to Dorothy Livesay. 19 December 1945. "The Dorothy Livesay
Papers", also "The Raymond Knister Papers, "Queen's University Archives.[back]
- "Confessions of a Compulsive Anthologist," Conference in honour of
Professor Gordon Roper, Peterborough, Trent University, March 1976. In Journal
of Canadian Studies (May, 1976). Rpt. in On Poetry and Poets, p. 107.
The title of Smith's selected essays suggests that of T.S. Eliot, "On Poets