The Year's Work in Canadian Poetry Studies: 1981

In the following bibliography of criticism on English-Canadian poetry published in 1981, journal articles have been summarized or abstracted according to the requirements imposed by the nature of the material. Full-length studies and interviews have also been included, generally without summational comment.

     The annotated checklists of the year's work in Canadian Poetry Studies for 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, and 1980 can be found in Nos. 2, 4, 6, and 8 of Canadian Poetry.


Parks, M.G. "The Composition and Text of Joseph Howe's
          Acadia." Canadian Poetry, no. 8 (Spring/Summer
          1981), 1-7.

Parks posits an early date of completion (1833-1834) for Howe's posthumously published poem based upon analysis of manuscripts and contemporaneous letters which provide keys to structure and composition.

Zenchuk, S.G. "A Reading of Joseph Howe's Acadia." Canadian
no. 9 (Fall/Winter 1981), 50-71.

Analyzes Howe's posthumous long poem, exploring in its tensions between nature and culture Howe's ambivalence toward the historical development of Nova Scotia and seeing the poem's shadings as an admonitory / prophetic social document.


Arnold, Richard. "'The Clearer Self': Lampman's Transcendental-
          Visionary Development." Canadian Poetry, no. 8 (Spring/
          Summer 1981), 33-55.

Providing an overview of recent Lampman criticism which calls for more sustained attention to the poet's philosophical development, Arnold assesses the evolution of Lampman's poetic vision from an early Emersonianism to a later recognition of nature's ambivalence.

Bentley, D.M.R. "Watchful Dreams and Sweet Unrest: An Essay
          on the Vision of Archibald Lampman, Pt. I." Studies in
          Canadian Literature
, 6:2 (1981), 188-210.

Bentley places Lampman's major visionary poetry in the context of a "world view" which sees organic and temporal correspondences between nature and human life. Constructing a conceptual geography of Lampman's universe, Bentley examines the patterns of cyclicality which ultimately result in a creative balancing of forces and a regenerative promise providing illumination to the poet's "excursive mind." (Article to be continued)

Bhojwani, Maia. "A Northern Pantheism: Notes on the
          Confederation Poets and Contemporary Mythographers."
          Canadian Poetry, no. 9 (Fall/Winter 1981), 34-49.

Bhojwani suggests a self-consciously mythopoeic phase brought into Canadian poetry by Carman, Roberts, Lampman, and Campbell, drawing many of its images from contemporary investigations into solar, stellar, and vegetative myths.

Carman, Bliss. Letters of Bliss Carman. Ed. H. Pearson Gundy.
          Kingston and Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press,
          [c1981]. 388 pp.

Incorporates selected Carman correspondence 1874-1929, with appendices providing location of primary materials and biographical context.

Early, L.R. "'An Old-World Radiance': Roberts' Orion
          and Other Poems
." Canadian Poetry, no. 8 (Spring/
          Summer 1981), 8-32.

An attempt to rescue the Orion poems from the critical ambivalence of both their author and subsequent commentators which has led, Early feels, to unwarrented neglect.

Farmiloe, Dorothy. "New Light on Crawford's Early Years."
          Canadian Literature, no. 90 (Autumn 1981), 168-174.

Presents information regarding Crawford's life in Paisley and Lakefield, Ontario.

Keller, Betty. Pauline: A Biography of Pauline Johnson.
Vancouver and Toronto: Douglas & McIntyre, [c1981].
          317 pp., illus.

Lynn, Helen, ed. An Annotated Edition of the Correspondence
          between Archibald Lampman and Edward William
(1890-1898). Ottawa: Tecumseh Press, 1980.
          252 pp.

Monk, Patricia, ed. "James De Mille's 'Phi Beta Kappa Poem.'"
          Canadian Poetry, no. 9 (Fall/Winter 1981), 89-99.

Monk introduces De Mille's 1879 Phi Beta Kappa Anniversary poem and develops its relationship to his A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder and Behind the Veil.

Noonan, Gerald. "Drummond — The Legend and the
          Legacy." Canadian Literature, no. 90 (Autumn
          1981), 179-187.

Discusses the popularity and critical reputation of the verse of W.H. Drummond.

Ower, John. "Crawford's Move to Toronto." Canadian
          Literature, no. 90 (Autumn 1981), 168.

Discusses the significance of Crawford's joining the Toronto Mechanics' Institute, June 20, 1876.

Roberts, Carolyn. "Words After Music: A Musical Reading
          of Scott's 'Night Hymns on Lake Nipigon.'"
          Canadian Poetry, no. 8 (Spring/Summer 1981), 56-63.

Using D.C. Scott's musicality as a point of departure, Roberts explores its influence on image patterns, metrics and cadences, and contrapuntal structures within what she classifies as one of Scott's major musico-literary" works.


Aide, William. "An Immense Answering of Human Skies:
          The Poetry of Margaret Avison." In The Human
          Elements: Second Series. Ed. David Helwig.
          Ottawa: Oberon Press, [c1981], 51-76.

A personal and poetic encounter with the body of Avison's work, using her Christian conversion as the movement toward a "new music" of the self in a testimony of commitment.

Anderson, Mia. "'Conversation with the Star Messenger':
          An Enquiry into Margaret Avison's Winter Sun."
          Studies in Canadian Literature, 6:1 (1981), 82-132.

Conceived as a "companion piece" to Avison's text, the essay offers a personal response to poems in Winter Sun, expanding upon images of colour, ritualized social activity, religious implications, and the nature of reality.

Bieman, Elizabeth. "Reconstructing The Victorian
          House: Philip Child's Hermeneutic." Canadian
          Poetry, no. 9 (Fall/Winter 1981), 16-33.

Bieman opens Child's narrative poem as a "mimesis of process" by exploring its literary echoes. Long considered static and formulaic, The Victorian House is regarded here as the self-creation of a dynamic persona through assimilation in a "dance of symbols" of a Christian intellectual and artistic tradition.

Birney, Earle. "Child Addict in Alberta." [Autobiographical
          Vignette] Canadian Literature, no. 90 (Autumn
          1981), 6-12.

Daniells, Roy. "Plymouth Brother." Canadian Literature,
          no. 90 (Autumn 1981), 25-37.

An autobiographical commentary first broadcast, in slightly different form, on the CBC in 1979.

Darling, Michael E. A.J.M. Smith: An Annotated
          Bibliography.   Montreal: Véhicule Press, [1981].
          228 pp.

Davey, Frank, and bp Nichol, eds. "Louis Dudek: Texts &
          Essays." Open Letter, ser. 4, nos. 8/9 (Spring/
          Summer 1981). 317 pp., illus., facsims.

Issue devoted entirely to Dudek, containing manuscripts, sketches, drafts and final printed versions of selected works; drafts of a previously unpublished lyric ("Silence"); critical essays by Dudek (1943-1980); and an extensive interview via an exchange of letters by Bowering, Davey, McCaffery, and Nichol.

David, Jack, and Robert Lecker, eds. Perspectives on
          Earle Birney. Downsview: ECW Press, 1981.
          (Canadian Perspectives, 3) 183 pp.

Includes critical perspectives on all aspects of Birney's work and an article by Birney himself, "Struggle against the Old Guard: Editing the Canadian Poetry Magazine." Also published as Essays on Canadian Writing, no. 21 (Spring 1981).

Golfman, Noreen. "Semantics and Semitics: The Early
          Poetry of A.M. Klein." University of Toronto
          Quarterly, 51:2 (Winter 1981/82), [175]-191.

Golfman explores Klein's compulsion to document the cultural dimension of Jewish experience through consideration of influences — early Talmudic scholarship, Kabbalistic meditations and rabbinical studies — upon the poetry 1925-1935. The article works toward establishing a balance between the personal, private poems and those published, showing Klein's impulse to refine and distance a more feeling self through irony and verbal intricacy into a public stance as creative puzzler.

Gustafson, Ralph. "Some Literary Reminiscences of the
          Eastern Town ships." Ellipse, 25/26 (1980), 146-154.

Gustafson writes of local influences upon his and others' development:  Drummond, Call, Bowman, F.R. Scott, and Smith.

Kertzer, J.M. "The Wounded Eye: The Poetry of Douglas
          LePan." Studies in Canadian Literature, 6: 1
          (1981), 5-23.

Using visual imagery as a point of departure, Kertzer discusses perception as a developing symbolic pattern in LePan's poetry.

Milner, Phil. "The Apprentice's Sorcerer." Books in
          Canada, 10:7 (August/September 1981), 3-6.

Profile of Fred Cogswell, poet, translator, editor, and publisher of Fiddlehead Poetry Books.

Page, P.K. "Extracts from a Brasilian Journal." Canadian
          Literature, no. 90 (Autumn 1981), 40-59.

Excerpts from an autobiographical journal, February-August 1957.

Precosky, Don. "Preview: An Introduction and Index."
          Canadian Poetry, no. 8 (Spring/Summer 1981),

Precosky describes the founding and tonalities of Preview, published in Montreal 1942-1945, discusses controversies with the First Statement circle, and evaluates the magazine's contribution to Canadian literature of its period.

Shore, Marlene. "'Overtures of an Era Being Born.' F.R.
          Scott: Cultural Nationalism and Social Criticism
          1925-1939." Journal of Canadian Studies,
          15:4 (Winter 1980/81), 31-42.

Discusses the growth of English-Canadian literary and social consciousness during the inter-war period, exploring divergences between British and North American orientations, and correlating aspects of Scott's career in the context of the cultural nationalism of his time.

Sproxton, Birk, ed. Sounds Assembling: The Poetry of
          Bertram Brooker. Winnipeg: Turnstone Press,
          1980. 71 pp.

The introduction (pp. 7-13) seeks to establish the context and importance of Brooker as a modernist Canadian poet.

Steven, Laurence. "Purging the Fearful Ghosts of
          Separateness: A Study of Earle Birney's Revisions."
          Canadian Poetry, no. 9 (Fall/Winter 1981), 1-15.

Examining the published versions of "Transcontinental" and "Man Is A Snow," Steven illustrates developments toward broader and deeper perspectives in theme, an evolving poetic stance, and increasing concern with craft and technique.

Whiteman, Bruce, ed. "Raymond Souster's Letters to
          Charles Olson." Canadian Poetry, no. 9 (Fall/
          Winter 1981), 72-88.

Whiteman reproduces fifteen letters, 1952-1965, in the Contact- Combustion period, stressing Souster's sponsorship of the Black Mountain movement in Canada through these periodicals and readings.


Barker, Terry, Aileen LeRoux, and James Deahl.
          "An Interview with Milton Acorn." Intrinsic, 7/8
          (Spring 1979), 160-174.

Bartlett, Donald R. "Gary Geddes' War and other
          measures: An Analysis." Canadian Poetry,
          no. 8 (Spring/Summer 1981), 64-73.

Delineates the unifying rhetoric of violence which Geddes uses to bind historical experience with a contemporary Canadian social context.

Bowering, George. "Margaret Atwood's Hands."
          Studies in Canadian Literature, 6: 1
          (1981), 39-52.

Bowering speculates upon aspects of persona in Atwood's several books of poetry, as the poet feels her way into the ultimate tactile powers of authorship through the molding and self-fashioning process.

"Metaphysic in Time: The Poetry of Lionel Kearns."
          In The Human Element: Second Series.
          Ed. David Helwig. Ottawa: Oberon Press,
          [c1981], 113-131.

Acknowledges Kearns' reticence and innovational forms as an active, ongoing process, constantly in motion, with the personal discoveries of the rebel (Catholic) artist as its thematic underpinning.

Broege, Valerie. "Margaret Atwood's Americans and
          Canadians." Essays on Canadian Writing, no. 22
          (Summer 1981), 111-135.

Explores "the origin, nature, and variety of Atwood's personal attitudes concerning Americans and Canadians and the reflection of these attitudes in her poetry and fiction."

Dale, Stephen. "Interview" [with Patrick Lane] Books in
          Canada, 10:10 (December 1981), 31-33.

Davidson, Arnold E., and Cathy N. Davidson, eds.
          The Art of Margaret Atwood: Essays in Criticism.
          Toronto: Anansi Press, [c1981]. 304 pp.

Essay collection including material on the seven books of poetry, plus a checklist of writings by and about Atwood to 1980.

Dowling, David. "'To Find a Local Speech': Mike Doyle
          and the Poet's Progress." West Coast Review,
          15:3 (Winter 1981), 25-32.

Discusses Doyle's attempts to establish a poetics of place from his time in New Zealand, the United States, and Canada in personal, lyrical, and formal aesthetic styles.

Henighan, Tom. "Creativity and the Experience of the
          Holocaust: An Interview with Irving Layton."
          Matrix, 13 (Spring/Summer 1981), 20-26.

Hillis, Doris. "CA&B Profile: Saskatchewan's Gertrude
          Story —  'Touching Upon Deep Truths.'" Canadian
          Author & Bookman, 56:2 (Winter 1981), 16-17.

Kappler, Mary Ellen, and Mike Zizis. "An Interview with
          Margaret Atwood." Intrinsic, 7/8 (Spring 1979), 92-95.

MacFarlane, David. "The People's Choice; Passage in the
          Life of Milton Acorn." Books in Canada, 10:6
          (June/July 1981), 3-[5].

Profile of Acorn describing his present activities and poetic directions.

MacLulich, T.D. "Ondaatje's Mechanical Boy: Portrait of
          the Artist as Photographer." Mosaic, 14:2 (Spring
          1981), [107]-119.

Discusses the narrator's role in The Collected Works of Billy the Kid as recorder-participant, finding a modernist response to technology in Billy's reaching toward self-mechanization.

Marchand, Blame. "WQ Interviews Dorothy Rath."
          Cross-Canada Writers' Quarterly, 3: 1
          (Winter 1981), 13-14.

Norris, Ken. "'With Alfred Jarry in Mind': The Poetry
          of Tom Konyves." CVII, 5:3 (Summer 1981), 34-36.

Norris discusses Konyves recent poetry and its affinities to Alfred Jarry's concept of" 'pataphysics."

"PCR Interview with Elizabeth Woods." Poetry
          Canada Review, 3: 1 (Fall 1981), 8.

"PCR Interview with Phyllis Webb." Poetry Canada
          Review, 2:3 (Spring 1981), 8.

"PCR Interview with Stephen Scobie." Poetry Canada
          Review, 3:2 (Winter 1981/82), 8.

Regan, Stephen. "Poet Erin Mouré Tracks Her Progress
          from Brown Paper Bags to the Wide Open Prairie."
          [Interview] Books in Canada, 10:4 (April 1981), 30-31.

Skelton, Robin, ed. Six Poets of British Columbia.
          Victoria: Sono Nis Press, 1980. 176 pp.

The introduction (pp. 13-27) points out significant aspects of British Columbia poetry as it correlates with the natural landscape. Poets represented: Murray, Lillard, Gom, Cathers, Kishkan, and Rhenisch.

"Talking the Line: Phyllis Webb In Conversation with
          Douglas Barbour and Steve Scobie." Writing, 4
          (Winter 1981/82), 22-25.

Twigg, Alan. For Openers: Conversations with 24
          Canadian Writers. [Madeira Park]: Harbour
          Publishing, 1981. 271 pp., illus.

Includes interviews with the following poets: Purdy, Trower, Cohen, Bissett, Livesay, Musgrave, Atwood, and Lee. Portions of the book previously published in Quill & Quire, Vancouver Province, Georgia Straight, Vancouver Free Press, and NeWest Review.

Wood, Susan. "Participation in the Past: John Newlove
          and 'The Pride.'" Essays on Canadian Writing,
          no. 20 (Winter 1980/81), 230-240.

Wood discusses Newlove's "The Pride" in the context of an individual search for the past as a key to personal identity. Viewing the composition process as an act of re-creation, she places Newlove among the poets who become "makers of living myths".

Woodcock, George. "The Dynamite Man: A Chapter
          in Autobiography." Canadian Literature, no. 90
          (Autumn 1981), 14-24.


Bentley, D.M.R. "Skills Vital to the Scene: Canadian
          Criticism and Poetry." Poetry Canada Review,
          2:3 (Spring 1981), 5.

Bentley surveys the state of Canadian poetry criticism, suggesting that concern with early works may bring a fuller sense of continuity with the past and stressing a creative interaction between poets and critics.

______ "A Stretching Landscape: Notes on Some
          Formalistic Continuities in the Poetry of the
          Hinterland." CVII, 5:3 (Summer 1981), 6-18.

Bentley takes structure as a key to theme, exploring the twin concepts of openness and closure as they reflect the Canadian landscape in the form of the nation's poetry. Vastness in the hinterland finds its embodiment in freer and more open forms, metaphors of spaciousness, and Whitmaniacal exuberance, with contemporary groundbreaking into new experimentation.

Martini, Jürgen, ed. Leaflets of a Surfacing Response:
           1st Symposium
[on] Canadian Literature in Germany
           [Bremen: University of Bremen Press, 1980]. [88] pp.

Pp. 31-41: "A.M. Klein's Second Scroll and Joyce's Ulysses: Some Allusive Relationships" (Heidenreich); pp. 63-67: "Leonard Cohen, A Modern Troubadour" (Lopau).

Monkman, Leslie. A Native Heritage: Images of the Indian
          in English-Canadian Literature. Toronto, Buffalo
          and London: University of Toronto Press, [c1981]. 193 pp.

A survey of the Indian as a figure in English-Canadian poetry, fiction, and drama from territorial antagonist to mythic pastoral hero.

Nadel, Ira Bruce. Jewish Writers of North America:
          A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale
          Research Company, [c1981]. (American Studies
          Information Guide Series, 8) 493 pp.

Bio/bibliographical reference guide including citations on the following Canadian poets: Ascher, Cohen, Cooperman, Edelstein, Faludy, Gotlieb, Jonas, Klein, Layton, Mandel, Mayne, Rosenblatt, Solway, Waddington, and Wayman.

Woodcock, George. Taking It to the Letter. [Montreal]:
          Quadrant Editions, [1981]. 159 pp.

Includes selected correspondence from Woodcock to such poets as Atwood, Purdy, Birney, Livesay, Smith, and Page.

Mary Ann Jameson