North of Blue Ontario's Shore: Spells of Emerson and Whitman in D.C. Scott's Poetry

by K.P. Stich

"Even where he has been known," writes E.K. Brown of Duncan Campbell Scott, "the shyness and austerity which have marked his relations with all but his intimates have left a colourless impression."1 Scott's major poems, however, often leave a different impression of him: a man of energy and self-reliance whose restrained but persistent quest for power through poetry can lead up an Emersonian "stairway of surprise" and on to a Whitmanesque passage to "primal thought."2   Although the analogy to Whitman may appear somewhat forced and the analogy to Emerson far-fetched, I believe that such analogies facilitate the understanding of Scott's North Americanness and, as part thereof, his fascination with the power and powerlessness of the poet. Looking for comparisons with the American voices also allows one to appreciate how Scott differs from them as a Canadian poet.

     Scott, who read widely but wrote about books rarely, appears to have had an extensive knowledge of established as well as contemporary American authors. His knowledge shows, for instance, in his reply to James Wetherell's request for advice on Wetherell's selection of poets for his anthology published as Later American Poets (1896): "You have included some successes I have not learned to admire but that is a matter of personal taste and as such I would not offer a criticism. You have included many writers I do admire profoundly . . . I think Harriet Monroe has written some good things and is as worthy of a place as some others which you have included."3  Scott's failure to comment on Wetherell's inclusion of Emily Dickinson's "Success is counted sweetest" and "For each ecstatic moment" (a remarkable choice at such an early date anywhere), probably reflects Scott's reticence to pass judgment on innovative poets. In fact, he does not seem to have said anything publicly about Whitman until his address on "Poetry and Progress" in 1922, when Pound, Eliot and Frost had sufficiently Americanized English poetry to allow Scott to tell the Royal Society of Canada that the United States had become a centre of modern poetry. Despite some condescension towards things American ("We must willingly confess that Americans are an art-loving people. . ."), Scott does express his admiration for Whitman's constructive iconoclasm and especially for his "noble preface of the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass" from which he quotes.4   He ends his address with what amounts to a defence of Whitman as a responsible rather than a chaotic poet. Whitman evidently moves Scott. The specific mention of the first edition of Leaves of Grass suggests that Scott knew of the later editions as well; perhaps he was even familiar with "By Blue Ontario's Shore" (1881) which incorporates the 1855 preface. In 1931, his friend E.K. Brown selects precisely this poem when he polemically argues for Leaves of Grass as a Canadian as much as a United States poem.5

     Whitman's call for the rise of North American poets and his explicit inclusion of "Kanada poets" (e.g., "By Blue Ontario's Shore," 1.334) must have been an inspiration for Scott, even if he refrained from saying so directly for the sake of incipient Canadian nationalism or conservative propriety. That Scott, in "Poetry and Progress," has heard the call becomes meaningful less in his defence of Whitman than in his own Whitmanesque voice and ideas in a paragraph like this: 

The modern feels no sickness of soul which requires a panacea of quiescence; he is aware of imperfections and of vast physical and social problems, but life does not therefore interest him less but more. He has the will to live and persistence to grapple with the universal complexities. This becomes evident in the revolt against established forms and in the intellectual daring that forces received opinion before a new jurisdiction.6

Furthermore, there is Scott's close acquaintance with Arthur Bourinot, the Ottawa man of letters, who recommended Whitman in the context of Canadian literature;7 and there is his friendship with John Masefield, whose A Sailor's Garland (1906), an anthology of poems about the sea, includes three Whitman and three Scott poems, with Whitman's "The World Below the Brine" immediately preceding Scott's "The Piper of Arll."

     Regarding Emerson, Scott, as late as 1940, writes to Pelham Edgar à propos an American stamp commemorating the poet-philosopher: "If the Americans won't read him, they can at least lick a stamp to his memory."8   Scott, of course, read Emerson whose essay "Self-Reliance" had been "an early discovery" of his, and he "was lastingly grateful for its doctrine."9  Since the central doctrine of "Self-Reliance," as of Emerson's prose in general, is "the infinitude of the private man,"10 Scott indirectly acknowledges his affinity for an issue at the core of American intellectual history. In his poetry, his admiration for transcendental self-reliance can often be translated into an admiration for the Emersonian leader archetype of the poet whom Whitman personifies so extravagantly.

     Bearing in mind Scott's interest in the American poets, I now intend to show how comparisons as well as contrasts to Emerson and Whitman are particularly helpful for a reading of Scott's poems about poets or poetry like "The Height of Land," "The Woodspring to the Poet," "In the Rocky Mountains," and "The Dreaming Eagle."11

     An immediate benefit of such an awareness occurs in Scott's "The Nightwatchman" (GC, 92-96), a narrative poem commemorating Alfred Mee, a nightwatchman in a foundry and potential poet; that is, an Emersonian combination of man doing and man thinking. The poem's speaker recalls most vividly Mee's rich flower and herb garden:

. . . a tangle of scent and sight;
And plants of pungent leaf, and of those
Weird Mister Mee would crush beneath my nose
And say, "Now sniff this hard and you will be
Someday a tall and strong OLD MAN like me." (GC, 93-94)

The scent is, above all, of crushed heliotrope (the plant that turns to the sun). This rich imagery reflects upon the nightwatchman as a watcher of sun and flowers who has accepted the need for as well as the futility of the quest for truth and beauty. Nightwatchman and heliotrope fuse into a positive image for Scott's speaker as he is looking for Mee's grave, hoping "To know it by the scent of heliotrope, / And rooted firm within their tiny span, / To find the pungent herb that's called OLD MAN" (GC, 96). Mee's garden and grave yield the metaphoric fruit — the pungent herb — of life through death. Although his flowers and herbs do not quite evoke the exuberant life-energy of the leaves of grass with which Whitman celebrates youth as well as old age, their function as a kind of pungent herbage of poetry and immortality appears analogous to Whitman's

Scented herbage of my breast,
Leaves from you I glean, I write, to be perused best afterwards,
Tomb-leaves, body-leaves growing up above me above death,
Perennial roots, tall leaves, O the winter shall not freeze you
         delicate leaves
Every year shall you bloom again, out from where you retired you
         shall emerge again;
O I do not know whether many passing by will discover you or
         inhale your faint odor, but I believe a few
                                                ("Scented Herbage of My Breast," 11.1-6)

     That Scott is willing to forego his comparative restraint while moving from the small to the grand in nature / life becomes particularly apparent in the energy and urgency of a tiny spring's voice in "The Wood-Spring to the Poet" (PS, 127-30), the poem that Gary Geddes fittingly calls "Scott's poetic manifesto":12

Give, Poet, give!
Thus only shalt thou live.
Give! for 'tis thy joyous doom
To charm, to comfort, to illume.
. . . .
Give them courage to bear,
Strength to aspire and dare;
Give them hopes rooted in stone,
That the loveliest flowers take on,
Bind on their brows with a gesture free
The palm green bays of liberty.
                                                                                             (PS, 127-28)

In its way, the spring preaches Whitman's "great Idea, the idea of perfect and free individuals," which to Whitman "is the mission of poets" ("By Blue Ontario's Shore" ["BOS"], 11.154,161).

     The mission led Whitman to recognize his duty as a poet: "to walk rapidly through civilizations, governments, theories, / Through poems, pageants, shows, to form individuals" ("BOS", 11.253-54). That duty culminates in the awareness that "Underneath all is the Expression of love for men and women" which only the "free souls of poets," the "Bards of the great Idea," such as "Kanada's bards" can concretize ("BOS", 11.266,331,334). Likewise, the poet in Scott's poem is to give songs of joy, truth, live, love, prayer, liberty and peace to children, women as well as men and to "Stab. . .to life" the despaired and the aggrieved:

Give, Poet, give!
Thus only shalt thou live:
Give as we give who are hidden
In myriad dimples of rock and fern;
Give as we give unbidden
. . . .
Striving to sweeten
The oceans of the world.
                                                                                                 (GC, 130)

The tone and theme of the spring's exhortation declare the poet as successor to priests and prophets; Scott's poet, in other words, is to respond to mankind in an essentially Whitmanesque New World manner. Even the metaphoric journey from spring to ocean of the world is on a grand scale, reminiscent of the metaphoric tradition of, for instance, Whitman's journey in "Passage to India" to "primal thought, / Not lands and seas alone. . . / . . . / To realms of budding bibles" ("PI," 11.165-68).

     What Scott lacks in linguistic virtuosity he compensates for with close attention to translating the awesome geographic reality of the Canadian northland. Unhampered by any myth of the closed frontier, he can keep the north open geographically as well as imaginatively. Thus his equivalent to a "Passage to more than India" ("PI," 11.224) is a passage to and beyond the height of land in northern Ontario:

Upon one hand
The lonely north enlaced with lakes and streams,
And the enormous targe of Hudson Bay,
Glimmering all night
In the cold arctic light
On the other hand
The crowded southern land
With all the welter of the lives of man.
                                                                  ("The Height of Land," PS, 47)

The climactic transposition from the height of land to a reasoned, as much as imagined, core of man's being occurs as a shift from heightened sensory consciousness to heightened word-consciousness. In the solitude of his campsite, the poet-speaker finds himself in alternating states of waking and day-dreaming, repeatedly conscious of a vague force:

Something that comes by flashes
Deeper than peace, — a spell
Golden and inappellable
That gives the inarticulate part
Of our strange being one moment of release
And we must answer in chime;
Though yet no man may tell
The secret of that spell
Golden and inappellable.
                                                                                               (PS, 47-48)

The primeval atmosphere with "no sound unless the soul can hear / The gathering of the waters in their sources" (PS, 46) combines allusions to the biblical Genesis with allusions to Indian mythology of the beginning of time. Into this pre-verbal experience of peace and timelessness intrudes "The ancient disturber of solitude" who

Stirs his ancestral potion in the gloom,
And the dark wood
Is stifled with the pungent fume
Of charred earth burnt to the bone
That takes the place of air.
                                                                                                    (PS, 49)

With his heart's intuitive welcome to the peaceful spell disturbed by doubt, the poet-speaker sinks into a darkness more threatening than the poet-speaker's "double night" — "A night of darkened heavens, a night of leaves" — by the wood-spring (PS, 127). It is an uncreative or, perhaps, precreative ancient darkness of doubt, depriving the speaker first of his sensory awareness and then of his rational defences against impending intellectual darkness, as his mind wanders from the camp to the night sky, where the stars, "beautied with impermanence," shall themselves "mourn for them who snared their fiery pinions, / Entangled in the meshes of bright words" (PS, 50). The speaker's recognition of his ultimate powerlessness as a poet reflects the effect on his mind and heart of the hellish terrain leading up to the height of land:

The last weird lakelet foul with weedy growths
And slimy viscid things the spirit loathes,
Skin of vile water over viler mud
Where the paddle stirred unutterable stenches,
And the canoes seemed heavy with fear,
Not to be urged toward the fatal shore
Where a bush fire, smouldering, with sudden roar
Leaped on a cedar and smothered it with light
And terror.
                                                                                                    (PS, 49)

After this inferno, with its parallels to the sloughs in Pilgrim's Progress and to the depths of man's unconscious, the portage height provides little consolation, for there the fire had burned the trees "to the root" (PS, 49).

     The direct translation of these negative images of water, height and land into ideas occurs in Scott's short poem "Thoughts" (PS, 267). The speaker of this poem yearns for thoughts of "progress" and "eagerness for life" with which to replace "dead thoughts" that

Hang like burned forests
By a northern lake,
Whose waters take
The bone-grey skeletons
And mirror the grey bones,
Both dead, the trees and the reflection.

By analogy, approaching the height of land, the speaker has had his dead thoughts burned and can thus ask: "How often in the autumn of the world / Shall the crystal shrine of dawning be rebuilt / With deeper meaning!" (PS, 50). An exclamation mark instead of a question mark appears to affirm the poet as rebuilder or reinterpreter of the "crystal shrine of dawning" amidst the ominous "autumn of the world." Scott gives the poet an orphic role, as if the northern height of land were a New World equivalent of Mount Parnassus with Delphi nearby.

     In this role, Scott's poet has a choice of striving beyond arcadian, utopian or platonic ideals, beyond simplistic equations of words and deeds, beyond philosophic ideals that might "seem as uncouth to him as the pictograph / Scratched on the cave side by the cave-dweller" (PS, 50). Scott's poet, like Emerson's, transcends the "picture language"13 of objective reality. Yet whereas Emerson's poet becomes a "liberating god,"14 Scott's becomes only like a liberating god, one whose possible acts are always in question; he is restrained by his skepticism about any final answers to the fusions of facts with thoughts and with intuition. He has arrived, it seems, close to the end of Emersonian compensations and metamorphoses of things into words, at the stage where Emerson's Merlin,

The kingly bard
Must smite the chords rudely and hard,
As with hammer or with mace;
That they may render back
Artful thunder, which conveys
Screts of the solar track,
Sparks of the supersolar blaze.
                                                                                    ("Merlin," 11.9-15)

Scott's complement to Emerson's poem "Merlin" is "The Height of Land" in which the sunrise is seen "In shoals of misty fire the deluge-light / Dashes upon and whelms with purer radiance" (PS, 51). Translated into words, the double-image of primeval flood and fire becomes Scott's inappellable spell. Its recognition comes at a point where Emily Dickinson might have said, "It is the Ultimate of Talk — / The Impotence to Tell —."15 The spell, however, clearly responds to Emerson's criterion of "true naming": the poet's "resigning himself to the divine aura which breathes through forms, and accompanying that."16  On the one hand, the spell (whether sentence, curse or trance) is inappellable in the sense of unnameable and reflects something divine; on the other hand, the spell is inappealable and evokes fate or an ultimate prison from which the poet's words cannot release him.17

     The spell comes to Scott's poet most convincingly with "the clear susurrus of deep joy that echoes and reëchoes in his being" which he feels in his "entranced and burning" heart (PS, 51). With his dead thoughts burned and with his heart now burning, the poet, through "the susurrus of deep joy," has consciously experienced a rebirth. In other words, with quasi-Emersonian optimism about poet power, Scott's poet overcomes the "ancient disturber" of doubt and self-doubt. Yet the question mark at the end of "The Height of Land" is a reminder that the spell will not remain undisturbed. Instead, the poet's fight against his "Impotence to Tell" will demand ends beyond "the lonely north," a little closer still to seeing and naming primal thought. "Shall the poet base his flight / Upon a more compelling law than love / As Life's atonement?" asks Scott's Emersonian speaker, not quite ready for the old Whitman's invitation to the poet's soul for a "free flight into the wordless" ("A Clear Midnight").

     The image in "The Height of Land" of the poet's work as "flight" (i.e., passage, escape, bird's flight) with "fiery pinions" complements the image of the poet as "The Dreaming Eagle" (GC, 39):

He cares not whether mountains move or stars be still
Content if he can fight the force that sweeps the air
To fan his wing-gold to a fiercer flame,
If he can turn his talons closer to the rock
And feel upon the shoulders of his wings
The Power.

He prefers the "dream tempest" of "hard sleet on the granite" of his mountain crag over the actual grandeur of his territory. His dream adds an illusion of cosmic power to his physical strength and thus corresponds to the speaker's spell in "The Height of Land." Beside the eagle's mountains, however, the northern height of land is negligible.

     Scott's seven-part poem, "In the Rocky Mountains" (GC, 31-35), acknowledges the mountains' inappellable spell — a "granite melody: Silent as the end of Time, / Silent as Eternity." The poet-speaker's metaphoric experience of the mountains' "soundless cadence" as "born of pressure and fire, / When the molten heart of earth / Fixed its wild desire" parallels his archetypal experience of sunrise as deluge-light in "The Height of Land." In both poems the revelation of cosmic voice occurs between dusk and dawn. During the day, the mountains "Stand secure in pride and triumph / Listening to the sun;" at night, they "Stand in doubt, austere and lonely / Listening to the stars." Out of the nightly struggle with doubt — "the ancient disturber of solitude" — the poet, aware of the relativity of concrete and imaginary heights, seemingly regains his perseverance as a seer during the day. His visions, in turn, give him the power to withstand the darkness of night, to be a successful nightwatchman. A poem like "Twilight" (GC, 77), however, while affirming the inferiority of "the mind of care," "the restless will" and the "nebulous stars of thought," oddly stresses "ecstasy" rather than doubt as arriving with nightfall, as a reminder that little in Scott's poetry is simply black and white. His use of polarities, which critics from A.J.M. Smith onwards have inevitably noticed, suggests complexities of Emersonian compensations, though clearly not Whitman's indulgence in loud voice with which to transcend contradictions. The power of Scott's poet, symbolized best perhaps by the dreaming eagle that links "The Height of Land" and "In the Rocky Mountains," is continually in conflict with the poet's inability to translate the power of intuition, dream or revery into superior thought and language.

     The compensation to the poet's dream of heights, of gaining vision, appears in the astonishingly numerous poems either about the sea or including sea imagery, in which Scott deals with the poet's depth of vision. The drowning poet-piper in "The Piper of Arll," Scott's spectacular obverse of the poet as dreaming eagle, questions the poet's success as a Whitmanesque voyager by dramatizing the likely self-destructiveness of artistic spell-binders. Indeed, the spatial power-images of both depths and heights and the corresponding power-quests by poets have clear archetypal overtones, harking back to the primal thought of Genesis and the fall of man.

     Like Scott, Emerson and Whitman were drawn to the sea in their struggles to spell poetic power. In his poem "Seashore," for instance, Emerson has the sea speak of itself, in its address to a tired poet-pilgrim, with metaphors of power that recall Emerson's Merlin who creates "As with hammer or with mace; / That [the chords] may render back / Artful thunder. . .":

I with my hammer pounding evermore
The rocky coast, smite Andes into dust
Strewing my bed, and, in another age,
Rebuild a continent of better men.

Emerson's personified sea is proud of its power to bind "credulous and imaginative man," men, that is, like the piper of Arll. Likewise, the sea as symbol of life-cum-death haunts Whitman's poet-speaker in "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking" for whom the sea's spell becomes concrete in the form of a cradle being endlessly rocked by the sea as "the fierce old mother incessantly moaning" (1.133).

     Similar to Emerson and Whitman, who see the sea as an archetypal beginning and end of all life, Scott sees it as "the Mother of Sorrow" in his poem "By the Seashore" (GC, 67-68) — the sea, it seems, as the mother of Christ. Yet the existential comfort of Scott's sea is questionable: as the voice of memory, both personal and transcendental, it also becomes "the only voice" and as such is "receding and dying in darkness." Scott elaborates on this theme in "Enigma" (GC, 69), the poem that immediately follows "By the Seashore":18

Some men are born to gather women's tears,
To give a harbour to their timorous fears,
To take them as the dry earth takes the rain,
As the dark wood the warm wind from the plain;
Yet their own tears remain unshed,
Their own tumultuous fears unsaid,
And, seeming steadfast as the forest and the earth,
Shaken are they with pain.
They cry for voice as earth might cry for the sea
Or the wood for consuming fire;
Unanswered they remain
Subject to the surrows of women utterly —
Heart and mind,
Subject as the dry earth to the rain
Or the dark wood to the wind.

"Women's tears," a metaphoric variation of the sea as "Mother of Sorrows," amount to life-denying answers to men crying out of deep depression. In this world of almost complete existential aridity (even the earth is dry), the selective some men, as opposed to the comprehensive women, are the poets who vainly "cry for voice," be it their own or primal thought, a voice of creation or of destruction rather than of silence. Although helpless in their wordlessness, their passivity, they remain pathetically steadfast in their perpetuation of masculine façades. These men are most likely Romantic poets who, deprived of or disillusioned by Emersonian idealism and Whitmanesque courage to create, have locked themselves in patriarchal prisons. No longer able to accept "Love / As Life's atonement" (the problem which the poet-speaker in "The Height of Land" raises), seeing it as "a consuming fire" instead, and unable to find higher laws (i.e., higher patriarchal thoughts), they are "[s]ubject to the sorrows of women utterly," their final spell. Their lovelessness is in their wordlessness. Indeed, with only women's tears left, even the potential for redeeming love would seem to have been consumed. On this socially abstract level, abstract perhaps because of Scott's aloof northernness, such an essentially resigned yet enduring stance is a remarkable complement to the same stance on a socially specific level in a poem like "Eros Turannos" by Scott's contemporary E.A. Robinson who, out of his New England and New York tradition, transmutes Emersonian and Whitmanesque idealism with fin-de-siècle pragmatism.

     Similar to Robinson, Scott here clearly limits the abilities of poets in the New World romantic tradition to transcend polarities, to write poetry of process, to celebrate the poet and "to find the pungent herb that's called OLD MAN." On the one hand, there is their archetypal drowning in the sea (deluge, tears, ocean) where "unmarked of any chart, / In unrecorded deeps they lie,/  Empearled within the purple heart / Of the great sea for aye and aye" ("The Piper of Arll," PS, 40). On the other hand, they can remain on land (woods, shore, heights), crying for voice, while continually questioning their calling. The last fourteen lines of "The Height of Land," for instance, consist of six questions; the whole of "Enigma" is a mute question; "The Nightwatchman" ends in an implied question; "In the Rocky Mountains" presents no answer or synthesis to the parodoxical polarities of mountains "valiant" during the day and "desolate" at night. Scott's poet-persona essentially remains a questioner rather than becoming an answerer when dealing with the power of art to transcend nature and, particularly in European contexts, history. In "Chiostro Verde" (GC, 21-23), for example, the fading frescoes in an Italian cloister force Scott to accept the mutability of art and artists. Now his questions are rhetorical only; resignation has replaced doubt:

Will nothing at last be left
But a waste wall?
Will painting forever perish,
Will no one be left to cherish
The beauty of life and the world,
Will the soul go blind of the vision?

The transitoriness of art is but a minor point here. Scott's main concern is the artist's powerlessness against his destruction by his vision. Thus the cloister does not convey a sense of spiritual or visionary strength nor much hope of revival. Instead it mocks the artist-seer's endurance in a dying culture. His redemption, as Scott suggests pro forma, might lie in the answer to the three questions concluding "Chiostro Verde":

Who painted those silver lights in the daisies
That sheen in the grass-cloud
That hides their stars or discloses,
Who stained the bronze-green shroud
Wrapping the cypress
Who painted the roses?

Yet, when, as in this poem, such questions no longer reflect curiosity, the dialectic technique with which Scott moves from the particular to the universal loses its energy or creative spell. Perhaps it is inevitable that poets' transcendental speculations turn mechanical, that their visions yield the intellectually and emotionally déjà vu, that their universal ideas overwhelm particular things and images in their poems, that they cannot for long be Janus-like in their vain fusion of opposites. Taken together, the examples of Scott's poems about the artistic process all too quickly reflect a fundamental weakness in applied Emersonian self-reliance and belief in compensations.

     Scott's faith in art, however, must have been strong and may have been his substitute for any affiliation with a church as he implies in a letter to E.K. Brown: "I have forgotten [the churches] all, having wandered far away and am lost in a wilderness, but I have a strong Faith of my own, you see I spell Faith with a capital."19   So does Emily Dickinson. Yet to her " 'Faith' is a fine invention / When Gentlemen can see — / But Microscopes are prudent / In an Emergency."20  In his poems about poetic vision, Scott's Canadian microscope has allowed him to see the liberation and, above all, the limitation of transcendental idealism and cosmic consciousness. He has kept looking through it long after Emerson had said of his poet-persona, "It is time to be old, / To take in sail" ("Terminus"), and long after Whitman saw himself as "The Dismantled Ship" lying "in some unused lagoon, some nameless bay." He can still see some light, in the tradition of Emerson's "Each and All," when he shifts from trying to spell truth directly in grand contexts to spelling it indirectly through emphasis on detail as in, for instance, "On a Drawing of a Hand" (GC, 63) with its conclusion that in a detail like a hand,

. . .there is imaged the deep calm
The perfect joy, unknown, the soul
Longs after, the clear Truth-in-Whole
Of Beauty, captive and concealed,
Never to be in round revealed,
Only to be persued uncaught,
Beyond dreaming, beyond thought,
Where Beauty leads in a caress
Along the lines of loveliness.

     Scott's poetry about poets or about the poetic process is, as I have shown, neither a simple second growth of "leaves of grass" nor a simple echo of Emersonian ideals; yet it is as if he wrote at least partly under the spell of Emerson's Merlin and partly in response to Whitman's "By Blue Ontario's Shore" which concludes with Whitman's spell on, among others, "Kanada's bards": "You by charm I invoke."


  1. On Canadian Poetry (Toronto: Ryerson, 1944), p. 119.[back]

  2. "Merlin," in Ralph Waldo Emerson: Selected Prose and Poetry, ed. Reginald L. Cook (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1969), p. 457; "Passage to India," in Leaves of Grass, ed. Sculley Bradley and Harold W. Blodgett (New York: Norton, 1973), p. 418.[back]

  3. More Letters of Duncan Campbell Scott, ed. Arthur S. Bourinot (Ottawa, 1960), p. 69.[back]

  4. "Poetry and Progress," in Scott: A Book of Criticism, ed. S.L. Dragland (Ottawa: Tecumseh, 1974), pp. 21, 22. Scott quotes the section beginning with "The profit of. . ." and ending in ". . .the perfume impalpable to form" (see Leaves of Grass, ed. Bradley and Blodgett, p. 716).[back]

  5. "The Neglect of American Literature," in Responses and Evaluations, ed. David Staines (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1977), p. 39.[back]

  6. "Poetry and Progress," p. 19.[back]

  7. Arthur S. Bourinot, The Quick and the Dead (Ottawa, 1960), p. 7.[back]

  8. More Letters, p. 63.[back]

  9. E.K. Brown, "Duncan Campbell Scott: A Memoir," in Responses and Evaluations, p. 113.[back]

  10. The Journals and Notebooks of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Vol. 7, ed. A.W. Plumstead and Harrison Hayford (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 1969), p. 342.[back]

  11. Scott's poems are taken from The Green Cloister (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart,1935), abbrev. as GC after quotations, and from The Poems of Duncan Campbell Scott (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1926), abbrev. as PS after quotations.[back]

  12. Gary Geddes, "Piper of Many Tunes: Duncan Campbell Scott," in Scott: A Book of Criticism, p. 176.[back]

  13. "The Poet," in Emerson: Selected Prose and Poetry, p. 126.[back]

  14. "The Poet," p. 135.[back]

  15. Final Harvest: Emily Dickinson's Poems, ed. Thomas H. Johnson (Boston: Little, Brown, 1961), p. 94.[back]

  16. "The Poet," p. 132.[back]

  17. See Emerson, "Every thought is also a prison; every heaven is also a prison. Therefore we love the poet, the inventor . . . He unlocks our chains and admits us to a new scene" (The Poet," p. 136).[back]

  18. "Enigma" in GC is not to be confused with "Enigma" in PS.[back]

  19. More Letters, p. 78.[back]

  20. Final Harvest, p. 20.[back]