The Years Work in Canadian Poetry Studies: 1983
In the following bibliography of criticism on English-Canadian poetry
published in 1983, 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 Years Work in Canadian Poetry
Studies for 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, and 1982 can be found in Nos. 2, 4, 6, 8,
10, and 12 of Canadian Poetry.
Bentley, D.M.R. Through Endless Landscapes: Notes on
Charles Sangsters The St. Lawrence and the Saguenay. Essays on
Canadian Writing, no. 27 (Winter 1983-84), 1-24.
Bentley works toward a systematic analytical reading of The St. Lawrence and the
Saguenay (1856), exploring both its derivations in Milton, Byron and
Goldsmith, specifically and its confrontation with uniquely Canadian and personal
themes. Formal borrowings are fused with the immediacy of both his own courtship and his
emotional response to landscape in the creation of this early but significant work.
Edelberg, Cynthia Dubin. The Shaping of a Political
Poet: Five Newfound Verses by Jonathan Odell. Early American Literature,
18:1 (Spring 1983), -70
Odell is redefined according to early poems published in the Pennsylvania Chronicle of
1768, suggesting religio-political dimensions of North American civil history and finally
defending a conservative Anglican position. Odell is seen, however, more as a poet than a
politician, as Edelberg stresses an overriding artistic response.
Granger, Bruce. The Hudibrastic Poetry of Jacob
Bailey. Early American Literature, 17:1 (Spring 1982), -64.
Granger discusses the four major Hudibrastic poems of Bailey, the Massachusetts Anglican
minister who settled in Nova Scotia in 1779, placing these works in the context of the
Loyalist movement for his American readers and illuminating Baileys burlesques of
such contemporary figures as Benjamin Franklin and George III.
Bhojwani, Maia. The Tides: Roberts
Sonnet about the Sonnet. Journal of Canadian Poetry, 3:2 (Winter 1981),
Places The Tides and other Roberts sonnets in the context of the Victorian
wave theory of the sonnet form.
Clever, Glenn. Lampmans Comfort of the
Fields. Journal of Canadian Poetry, 3:2 (Winter 1981), 55-62.
Seeing Lampmans poem as problematic, Clever analyses its alogical
structure and undirected movement, its unity of mood and
sense of order, and concludes by finding the poem limited in power and appeal.
Cooke, Dorothy. An Index to Acadiensis 1901-1908. Halifax:
Dalhousie University Libraries, 1983. (Dalhousie University Libraries and Dalhousie
University School of Library Service Occasional Paper, 32) 200 pp.
Early, L.R. Lampmans Love Poetry. Essays
on Canadian Writing, no. 27 (Winter 1983-84), 116-149.
Early explores the pervasive tensions in Lampmans love poetry between those directed
toward establishment and domestic bliss figured in Maud, his wife, and those yearning
toward erotic and visionary projections, embodied in Katherine Waddell. The article traces
as well the stylistic derivations from Elizabethan and Romantic forms, drawing allusions
to and from specific poems.
ed. Twenty-five Fugitive Poems by Archibald Lampman. Canadian Poetry,
no. 12 (Spring/Summer 1983), 46-70.
Early brings together these twenty-five poems uncollected in the principal editions of
Lampman by way of providing a contour of the poets oeuvre. Nineteen were
published in periodicals (1882-1898), but of this group six are unlisted in the main
bibliographies and three have not been heretofore recorded, while the last six appeared
Farmiloe, Dorothy. Isabella Valancy Crawford: The Life
and Legends. Ottawa: Tecumseh Press, 1983. xvi, 90 pp.
Foshay, Toby A. J.D. Logan: Canadian Man of
Letters; A Bio-critical and Bibliographical Study with a Checklist of the Logan Papers in
the Acadia University Library. Hantsport, N.S.: Published for Acadia University
Library by Lancelot Press, 1982. 209 pp.
Grant, S.D. Indian Affairs under Duncan Campbell
Scott: The Plains Cree of Saskatchewan 1913-1931. Journal of Canadian Studies,
18:3 (Fall 1983), 21-39.
Focusses on Scotts governmental rather than literary activities.
Kelly, Catherine. In the Vague Spaces of Duncan
Campbell Scotts Poetry. Studies in Canadian Literature, 8:1 (1983),
In this article and its companion study, Scotts language of poetic ecstasy provides
a key to Kellys reading of spiritual immediacy in enlivened nature and metaphors of
_____ . Tremoured with Fire: Duncan Campbell
Scotts Love Poetry. Studies in Canadian Literature, 8:2 (1983),
The transcendental aspects of Scotts love poetry are traced using The Water
Lily as an initial focus, revealing the poems stylistic features, stressing
structural and organic metaphorical parallels, and examining the ecstasy of the lily-sun
relationship. Here the solar process becomes a figure for human sexual encounter but is
expanded further to become an image of transcendent spiritual love. Kelly finds a
variation of this technique in June Lyrics and the Twelfth
Anniversary sonnets, where human encounters at the centre of the poems return to
nature for their transcendent expansion.
Lecker, Robert, Jack David, and Ellen Quigley, eds. Canadian
Writers and Their Works: Poetry Series, vol. 2. Introduction by George Woodcock.
Downsview: ECW Press, 1983. 289 pp.
Critical essays on the form, context and development of Confederation poets: Campbell (G.
Wicken), Carman (T. Whalen), Lampman (L.R. Early), Roberts (F. Cogswell) and D.C. Scott
MacGillivray, S.R., and J.D. Rabb. Three Lampman
Letters. Canadian Literature, no. 97 (Summer 1983), 175-177.
The discovery of three hitherto unknown letters from Lampmans father underline the
family financial anxieties during the late 1880s and confirm something other than
merely the subjective response of an overly sensitive romantic spirit in the
poets seeming desperation of that period.
Noonan, Gerald. Perceptions of Drummond, Cet
Idiome Bâtard, and the French Canadian Pastorale. Essays on
Canadian Writing, no. 27 (Winter 1983-84), 35-40.
Although Drummonds popular dialect verse worked to encourage French-Canadian
stereotypes even to a joint pairing of primitives appearance at the
Montreal Folklore Club in 1896 with an expert on African tribal oddities his
linguistic and sociological attention was sensitive and precise. Drummonds image of
the habitant was a comfortable illusion for English Canada, defining the French
experience essentially as local colour.
Precosky, Don. Bliss Carman A Second
Look. Journal of Canadian Poetry, 3:2 (Winter 1981), 22-30.
After surveying the history of critical responses to Carman, Precosky examines the
influence of the seagoing culture of the Maritimes with particular reference
to Ballads of Lost Haven (1897).
Scott, Duncan Campbell. The Poet and the Critic: A
Literary Correspondence between D.C. Scott and E.K. Brown. Edited with an
introduction and notes by Robert L. McDougall. Ottawa: Carleton University Press, 1983.
K.P. North of Blue Ontarios Shore: Spells of Emerson and Whitman in D.C.
Scotts Poetry. Canadian Poetry, no. 12 (Spring/Summer 1983), 1-12.
Scotts grudging Whitmania as well as attraction to Emersonian transcendentalism
helped shape much of his work but the impulse toward defining Canadian differences
assigned his poetry its uniquely Northern identity.
Walker, Fred. Flying His Own Colours: The Patriotic
Poetry of Sir Charles G.D. Roberts. Journal of Canadian Poetry, 3:2 (Winter
Attempts to rehabilitate Roberts currently unfashionable patriotic poetry, revealing
the poets adherence to and departures from views expressed in his introduction to
the 1942 anthology Flying Colours.
Ware, Tracy. Remembering It All Well: The
Tantramar Revisited. Studies in Canadian Literature, 8:2 (1983),
Roberts Romantic influences are carefully traced, especially in the Wordsworthian
echoes from Tintern Abbey. Wares primary emphasis lies in an evaluation
of previous critical discussion in terms of its response to central themes, anatomizing
The Tantramar Revisited as a Romantic return poem, figuring
Romantic naturalism as an act of the poetic imagination centred in the responsive
Bentley, D.M.R., ed. [John Glassco Special Issue]. Canadian
Poetry, no. 13 (Fall/Winter 1983). 99 pp.
Includes studies on Glasscos poetry, fiction and translations by J. Burnett, E.
Jewinski, M. Darling, C.R. La Bossiere, S. Scobie, T. Tausky and poetic tribute by R.
Collins, Alexandra. An Audience In Mind When I Speak:
Groves In Search of Myself. Studies in Canadian Literature, 8:2
Collins analyzes Groves placement of himself as microcosm at the centre of his times
in the autobiographical In Search of Myself (1946), inventing and reshaping his
persona through exploration of the sources of personal failure" which
focusses centrally on his search for a sustaining audience.
Djwa, Sandra, and R. St. J. Macdonald, eds. On F.R.
Scott: Essays on His Contributions to Law, Literature, and Politics. Kingston;
Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 1983. xxii, 203 pp.
Papers presented at a conference held at Simon Fraser University, 20-21 February 1981,
including examinations of Scotts poetry by L. Dudek, D.G. Jones and F.W. Watt.
Downes, G.V. Robert Finch and the Temptation of
Form. Canadian Literature, no. 97 (Summer 1983), 26-33.
Finchs recent collection, Variations and Theme (1980), is
rescued from critics who fail to see it as part of the poets total
vision in a coherent public/private interaction of experience equated to more
substantial intellectual strains in poetry and its sister arts.
Dragland, Stan, ed. Approaches to the Work of James
Reaney. Downsview: ECW Press, 1983. 235 pp.
Encompasses discussion of Reaneys poetry and drama and includes essays by G.
Bowering, T. Griggs, R. Stingle, J. Macpherson, C. Browne, P. Ludwick, J. McKay, G.D.
Parker, D. Bessai and S. Dragland. Also published as Essays on Canadian Writing, nos.
24/25 (Winter/Spring 1982-83).
Edwards, Peter. Politics and Poetry: An Interview
with Earle Birney. Queens Quarterly, 90:1 (Spring 1983), 122-131.
Gustafson, Ralph. The Story of the Penguin. Canadian
Poetry, no. 12 (Spring/Summer 1983), 71-76.
Gustafson discusses the creation and evolution of the Pelican Anthology of Canadian
Poetry /Penguin Book of Canadian Verse (noting implications of the title change) in
terms of his own role as editor and the influence of the collection in propagating a canon
and image of Canadian poetry.
Haverluck, Bob. Can Any Good Thing Come from
Nazareth?: Comedy in the Prairie Hinterland. Journal of Canadian Studies,
18:2 (Summer 1983), 27-41.
Discusses comedy in the work of Paul Hiebert as a factor of the sense of shame
derived from the urban-rural dynamic of a superior colonial attitude versus a
submissive hinterland consciousness, often finally resting in stereotypes.
Johnston, George. Rhythm, A Few General
Observations. Journal of Canadian Poetry, 3:2 (Winter 1981), 5-13.
Briefly discusses Purdy, Page, Pratt, Birney, and others in terms of their use of
Kearns, Lionel. Birneys Bear. Canadian
Literature, no. 97 (Summer 1983), 172-175.
Kearns delineates his own response to Bear on the Delhi Road through the key
provided by anthropologist Robin Ridingtons studies of animal myths among the
Athabascan Indians. Here, mans relationship to the external world is stabilized in
triumphal domestication of the bear, but this in turn functions as a parody of
Lecker, Robert, and Jack David, eds. The Annotated
Bibliography of Canadas Major Authors, vol. 4. Downsview: ECW Press,1983. 370
Comprises comprehensive annotated bibliographies of primary and secondary materials,
through 31 December 1981, for Birney (P. Noel-Bentley), Livesay (A. Ricketts), F.R. Scott
(R. Still) and Smith (A. Burke and E. Quigley).
Meyer, Bruce, and Brian ORiordan. Horses,
Buggies and Cadillacs: A Conversation with James Reaney. Descant, no. 42
(14:4) (Fall 1983), 37-47.
_____. Raymond Souster: The Quiet
Chronicler. [Interview] Waves, 11:4 (Spring 1983), 5-12.
Moyles, R.G. The Blue Pencil Revisions of
E.J. Pratt: Editorial Procedures for Modern Canadian Texts. Essays on Canadian
Writing, no. 27 (Winter 1983-84), 55-69.
Moyles argues for the application of close textual analysis techniques to the
work of Pratt, demonstrating his thesis through discussion of specific poems. Pratts
methods and processes are explored through the course of revisions and possible
Pfaff, Catherine McKinnon. Pratts Treatment of
History in Towards the Last Spike. Canadian Literature, no. 97
(Summer 1983), 48-72.
Pfaff traces Pratts careful documentation and research in preparation of
Towards the Last Spike through detailed examination of notebooks, contemporary
histories, and reminiscences, correlating these with drafts of the poem itself. The energy
of the poem, Pfaff suggests, lies in the selection and dramatization of key characters and
incidents, orchestration of structural parallelism, and musical influences upon the
conception of the whole which ultimately integrate its various elements.
Zailig. A Source for A.M. Kleins Out of the Pulver and the Polished
Lens. Canadian Poetry, no. 12 (Spring/Summer 1983),34-39.
Pollocks discovery of markings and annotations in Joseph Ratners edition of The
Philosophy of Spinoza . . . (1927) in Kleins library establishes the
editors introductory essays as the primary source for Out of the Pulver and
the Polished Lens.
Pratt, Edwin John. E.J. Pratt on His Life and Poetry. Ed.
Susan Gingell. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1983. (The Collected Works of E.J.
Pratt) xlix, 218 pp.
Don. Back to the Woods Ye Muse of Canada: Conservative Response to the
Beginnings of Modernism. Canadian Poetry, no. 12 (Spring/Summer 1983),
Discusses endemic Canadian reaction to Yeatsian/Eliotic modernism in its attempt to ensure
solid national identity against the onslaught of deconstructive forms.
[Robertson, Heather]. Q&Q Interview: Dorothy
Livesay. Quill & Quire, 49:3 (March 1983), 4, 6.
Ross, Catherine. An Interview with James
Reaney. Canadian Childrens Literature, no. 29 (1983), 4-24.
Stott, Dorothy. Robin Skelton An
Important Voice in Our Time. [Interview] Waves, 12:1 (Fall 1983), 5-19.
Stromberg-Stein, Susan. Louis Dudek: A Biographical
Introduction to His Poetry. Ottawa: Golden Dog Press, 1983. 150 pp.
Sullivan, Rosemary. Northrop Frye: Canadian
Mythographer. Journal of Commonwealth Literature, 18:1 (1983), -13.
Sullivan points to students of Frye Reaney, Atwood, Macpherson, Lee as
exemplars of his critical elucidation of self-conscious nationalism, patterns and
structures in a unique cultural grammar of motifs. Sullivan traces Fryes
anatomy of signs through the works of his ostensible disciples to sustain the
inevitable tone of an egocentric consciousness locked into a demythological
environment which Frye maintains as the distinctly Canadian temperament.
Varma, Prem. Notes on Imagery in Steads
Poetry. Journal of Canadian Poetry, 3:2 (Winter 1981), 63-66.
Brief discussion of various poems in Kitchener and Other Poems (1917) in terms of
imagery and Jungian symbolism.
Lorraine M. A Thankful Music: Dorothy Livesays Experiments with
Feeling and Poetic Form. Canadian Poetry, no. 12 (Spring/Summer 1983),
York stresses a symbiosis of feeling and form in the emotional energy of
Livesays poetry, illuminating the creative tension of freedom and constraint, or
spontaneity encased in structure, that leads to the embodiment of sensitivity in formal
Amprimoz, Alexandre L. Death in C.H. Gervais
Poetry. CV II, 7:3 (September 1983), 9-10.
Hints at themes of significance in Gervais Into a Blue Morning (1982),
suggesting that the poet reaches toward importance in his figuring of death as an absolute
within otherwise conventional settings.
Aubert, Rosemary. Tradition Meets Technology. Canadian
Author & Bookman, 58:4 (Summer 1983), 6-7.
Describes the orientation and major figures in the development of Coach House as a
publisher of poetry and prose and as a printer.
Baltensperger, Peter. Places In Time: Poetry of
Historical Roots. CV II, 7:3 (September 1983), 50-52.
A discussion of regionalism in Canadian poetry, fixing particularly on the
London/Lambton County focal points of Christopher Dewdney (A Palaeozoic Geology of
London, Ontario, 1973) and Don Gutteridge (A True History of Lambton County, 1977)
and the Saskatchewan of Eli Mandels Out of Place (1977).
Bartley, Jan. Invocations: The Poetry and Prose of
Gwendolyn MacEwen. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1983. ix, 113 pp.
Billings, Robert. Discovering the Sizes of the Heart:
The Poems of Mary Di Michele. Essays on Canadian Writing, no. 27 (Winter
A critical tracing of Di Micheles poetic development from Trees of August (1978)
through Bread and Chocolate (1980) to Theres Sky Above My Sky (1981)
and Mimosa and OtherPoems (1981), suggesting that the author finds her subjects
in a confrontation with her own ethnic background as a determinant of identity rather than
a stigma to be escaped. She confronts herself through an exploration of her own heritage,
becoming progressively more open, direct and muscular and tough as she writes
herself free of personal constrictions.
A Brief Official History of Turnstone Press
1976-81. Grain, 11:1 (February 1983), 48.
Discusses the development of the Winnipeg-based Press and its expansion from regionalist
poetry to a wider publication list.
Bruck, Julie. The Work of Helene Rosenthal. CV
II, 7:3 (September 1983), 4-5.
Essentially a retrospective review of Rosenthals collection, Listen to the Old
Mother: Poems Selected and New (1975), in which the poems are cited for their strong
imagistic qualities and immediacy of sensation.
Bukowski, Charles. The Bukowski/Purdy Letters: A Decade
of Dialogue 1964-1974. Ed. Seamus Cooney. Sutton West, Ont.; Santa Barbara, Ca.:
Paget Press, 1983. 117 pp.
Chamberlin, J.E. Let There Be Commerce Between
Us: The Poetry of Michael Ondaatje. Descant, no. 42 (14:4) (Fall 1983),
Chamberlin suggests that Ondaatje initially masks his connection with Romantic tradition
by a focus derived from Henry Maine upon the social contract of poems
delivered by a poetic speaker, suggesting finally that the interaction occurs in a
tonal collage, in which personal observations are integrated with a larger
cultural context to provide the central thematic impulses of major poetical and fictional
Clark, Joan. A Conversation with Chris Wiseman.
CV II, 7:2 (April 1983), 9-13.
Collins, Aileen, ed. CIV /n: A Literary Magazine of the
50s. Montreal: Vehicule Press, 1983. 267 pp.
Retrospective reissue of CIV /n documenting the contribution of the Montreal
journal to the Canadian literary landscape of the early 1950s as well as reprinting
seminal works by Layton, Dudek, Collins, F.R. Scott, Cohen, Webb, Mandel, D.G. Jones, etc.
Cooper, Alan. Way Back the Woods Are
Wine-Dark The Poetry of John Thompson. Arts Atlantic, no. 17
(5:1) (Summer 1983), 38-39.
Article seeks a fuller appreciation of Thompson by building from the drama of his untimely
death to the fuller dimensions of poetry which integrate the poet with a New Brunswick
landscape but also expand into Eastern philosophy which inspired his later work.
Cowan, Judith. La Poesie de Pat Lowther. Ellipse,
31 (1983), 86-93.
Cowan places strong emphasis on a correlation between Lowthers art and experience,
suggesting early equations of artistic creation and procreation yield finally to the
influence of Neruda and an image of Latin America which enable the poet to emerge from an
Davey, Frank. Notes on the Language of the
Contemporary Canadian Long Poem: As Presented to the Simon Fraser University Weekend
Conference /Festival, The Coast Is Only a Line, July 25, 1981.
Lantzville, B.C.: Island Writing Series, 1983. 22 pp.
See also the article in his Surviving the Paraphrase: Eleven Essays on Canadian
Literature (Winnipeg: Turnstone Press, 1983), 183-193.
Dedora, Brian. John Currys CURVD H &
Z. CV II, 7:3 (September 1983), 11-12.
Reviews Currys recent work by relating it to the tradition of the Grub Street
pamphleteers, suggesting that this 18th century sense of contemporaneity may be the final
value of Currys poems.
Dragland, Stan. Christopher Dewdneys Writing:
Beyond Science and Madness. Malahat Review, no. 66 (October 1983), 36-54.
In this essay, drawn from his Afterword to Predators of the Adoration:
Selected Poems 1972-82 (1983), Dragland maps the contours of Dewdneys work,
suggesting that an early interest in natural history shaped the poetry in important ways.
The correlation of space and time implicit in geology makes that science a valuable
metaphor in that the successive books create an accumulating landscape, with linguistic
and ideational interconnections and a near-geological layering achieved through gaps,
parenthetical insertions and expansions, and strata of reference in human and
Dunham, Rob. A Sentence Like a Snake: A Dialogue with
E.D. Blodgett. CV II, 7:2 (April 1983), 27-32.
Eady, Robert. An Unmanipulated Sorrow:
The Poetry of Leona Gom. Arc, no. 10 (Fall 1983), 16-23.
Presents and comments upon selected poems from Goms The Singletree (1975)
and Land of the Peace (1980).
Enright, Robert. The Poetry of Knowledge & Flesh:
An Interview with George Amabile. Arts Manitoba, 2:3 (Summer 1983), 29-32.
Fagan, Cary. The Death of a Little Magazine. Poetry
Canada Review, 4:4 (Summer 1983), 6.
Chronicles the course of Harvest magazine from 1977-1982, discussing editorial
objectives, disappointments, and the final adjustments in editorial scope before Harvests
Grace, Sherrill E., and Lorraine Weir, eds. Margaret
Atwood: Language, Text, and System. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press,
1983. x, 158 pp.
Comprised of essays by the co-editors, L. Hutcheon, B. Blakely, E. Mandel, R. Cluett, M-F.
Guedon, P. Stratford and G. Woodcock.
Groening, Laura. The Journals of Susanna Moodie: A
Twentieth-Century Look at a Nineteenth-Century Life. Studies in Canadian
Literature, 8:2 (1983), 166-180
Groening suggests that Atwoods encounter with Moodies personality in the
original documents produced a vibrant and complex character in The Journals who
reflected larger Canadian cultural ambivalences, though many of these dimensions appear
superimposed by an age of self-conscious, psychological and critical analysis.
Hilderley, Bob, ed. Poetics. Quarry,
32:4 (Autumn 1983), 59-85.
Excerpts from statements on poetics delivered at the Upper Canada Writers Workshop
in Kingston, Summer 1982, by D. Wynand, B. Edwards, C.A. Swaskey, H. Bouraoui, S.D.
Harasym, D. Barbour, T. Marshall, R. Borson, T. Byrnes, A.L. Amprimoz, B.L. Flack, E.
Moure, G.E. Clarke, R. Nash and B. Dempster.
Hillis, Doris. CA&B Profile: Shaping a
Vision. Canadian Author & Bookman, 59:1 (Fall 1983), 2-3.
Biographical sketch of Patrick Friesen, concentrating on pressures of his Mennonite
background and influence on his art.
Kareda, Urjo. An Immigrants Song. Saturday
Night, 98:12 (December 1983), 44-51.
Physical and emotional landscapes of Ondaatjes youth are correlated by way of
developing a geography of the past as a determinant of identity. Colonial
alienation as a facet of the Ceylon experience yields to a landscape of friendship and
personal rebirth in the authors transplantation to Canada.
Wendy. Looking for Owls: The Quest Motif in Tom Waymans Poetry. Canadian
Poetry, no. 12 (Spring/Summer 1983), 24-33.
A retrospective look at Waymans ten years of publication, moving from the
country of everyday to an increasingly complex tension between the social realism of
work poems and the effete self-absorption of poems about art.
Waymans Marxist basis finally appears rather hazy, as a personal search usurps the
social quest, though preserving much of its imagery.
Kroetsch, Robert. Essays. Eds. Frank Davey and bp
Nichol. Open Letter, ser. 5, no. 4 (Spring 1983). 124 pp.
A collection of essays written during the period 1971-1982, covering aspects of
Canadian/American culture and literature. Kroetsch provides background for his own work,
both fiction and poetry, and discusses such phenomena as the contemporary Canadian long
MacDonald, R.D. Lees Civil Elegies
in Relation to Grants Lament for a Nation. Canadian Literature,
no. 98 (Autumn 1983), 10-30.
In this critical analysis, MacDonald portrays Lees long poem Civil
Elegies (1972) as a work perhaps excessively controlled by the cultural resentments
of its era. In adopting the Grant formula of Canadian homogenization through American
(media) influence as the poems theoretical base, Lee fails to examine sufficiently
the deeper intellectual history of the two North American societies and often lapses too
easily into caricature.
Melnyk, George. Miriam Mandel: The Poet and Her
Publishers. CV II, 7:2 (April 1983), 40.
A reminiscence by the publisher of NeWest Press which essentially becomes a tribute to
Mandel, who committed suicide in February 1982.
Owens, Judith. I Send You a Picture:
Ondaatjes Portrait of Billy the Kid. Studies in Canadian Literature,
8:1 (1983), 117-139.
Owens suggests Billys work is to establish patterns of order amidst a
world of shift and flux. He seeks the tidiness of lists (even of victims in the stasis of
death), an absolute measurement of time, and a story which will anchor itself in
absolutes. This is nearly transcended in Billys own energy of perception, which
enlivens his world but can never wholly furnish an escape from time, change and mortality,
which the calendar emphasizes as ultimately finite.
PCR Interview with Gwendolyn MacEwen. Poetry
Canada Review, 4:3 (Spring 1983), 8.
PCR Interview with Irving Layton. Poetry
Canada Review, 4:4 (Summer 1983), 8-9.
Purdy, Al. Morning and Its Summer: A Memoir.
Dunvegan, Ont.: Quadrant Editions, 1983. 53 pp.
Autobiographical essay (pp. 9-28) followed by a selection of Purdys poetry.
Reid, Monty. Interview with Charles Noble: Riding on
Top of It. NeWest Review, 9:2 (October 1983), 22-24.
_____. Interview with Poet Robert Hilles.
NeWest Review, 8:7 [i.e. 8] (April 1983), 6-7.
Relke, Diana M.A. Double Voice, Single Vision: A
Feminist Reading of Margaret Atwoods The Journals of Susanna Moodie. Atlantis,
9:1 (Fall 1983), 35-48.
Relke extends the convention of a contemporized Moodie by suggesting that
dualities go beyond the nature/culture encounter with landscape to an essential feminine
disenfranchisement from male social conventions and language structures. Atwood
illuminates this entrapment, Relke notes, by stressing alienation, emptiness and absence
through crafted gaps and flatnesses in the poems themselves. Finally, Moodie becomes a
psychic precursor for Atwood, embodying the image of feminine energies which engages poet
Ricou, Laurie. Prairie Poetry and Metaphors of
Plain/s Space. Great Plains Quarterly, 3:2 (Spring 1983), 109-119.
Ricou examines various metaphors for the plains (sea, wind, sky, line, snow, light),
finding a landscape of space which becomes finally invisible and intangible though
determinant. Comparing Edward Dorns Idaho Out with Robert
Kroetschs Seed Catalogue, the article suggests that in the latter,
place is no longer the subject, having yielded to an exploration of the
process of metaphor itself.
Scobie, Stephen. Gadji Beri Bimba: The Problem of
Abstraction in Poetry. Canadian Literature, no. 97 (Summer 1983), 75-92.
A lengthy discussion of Scobies poetics with particular regard to the concept of
abstraction, figured in correlatives with the visual arts, as Scobie draws distinctions
between topical and syntactical abstraction of poems which hover on the edges of
meaning. Abstractions extension into sound poetry (or text-sound")
still, through notation, attaches meaning to performance and guarantees the presence of
Smith, Patricia Keeney. WQ Interview with Gwendolyn
MacEwen. Cross-Canada Writers Quarterly, 5:1 (1983), 14-17.
Solecki, Sam. Michael Ondaatje. Descant,
no. 42 (14:4) (Fall 1983),77-88.
A free form discussion of Running in the Family (1982) as it
relates to and presses readers toward earlier Ondaatje texts, linking this
personal reminiscence with the poetic imagination of a tradition embracing, most
centrally, Wallace Stevens and Leonard Cohen as well as Ondautjes own earlier Billy
the Kid and Coming Through Slaughter.
Thompson, Lee Briscoe. Lands Without Ghosts: Canadian
and Australian Historical Poetry. In The History and Historiography of
Commonwealth Literature. Ed. Dieter Riemenschneider. Tubingen: Gunter Narr, 1983,
A correlation of Australian and Canadian poetry as response to equally arid
outbacks, confirming echoes of isolation and barrenness of landscape and a
defining past of colonial Englishness. Includes discussion of Birney, Atwood, Purdy,
Ondaatje, Kroetsch, and others.
Thoughts of Chairman Al. [Al Purdy Talks to Arc about
Pressures, Books, Readings, &c.] Arc, nos. 8-9 (Spring/Summer 1983), 78-84.
Edited from interview with Arc, November 1981.
Wachtel, Eleanor. Intimations of Mortality. [The
Splendid Isolation of Phyllis Webb.] Books in Canada, 12:9 (November 1983),
A conversational interview leads to acknowledgement of Webbs basic themes of
exterior/interior landscapes and personal deliberations upon influences ranging from Rilke
and the European philosophers to Emily Dickinson and a Northern American
masculine-feminine poetic tension.
Wayman, Tom. Inside Job: Essays on the New Work
Writing. Madeira Park, B.C.: Harbour Publishing, 1983. 101 pp.
Wayman, long associated with commentary and poetry on art in the workplace,
presents this collection of essays stressing correlative aspects of occupational and
artistic creativity, bringing these from politically-oriented works of the socialist
30s to the complex technological impersonalization-exploitation of modern
industrial labour in which the individual worker may realize his uniqueness through
personal artistry focussing on the job.
Webb, Phyllis. Talking. Dunvegan, Ont.: Quadrant
Editions, 1982. 153 pp.
Includes poetry, discussions on poetic process, and essays on writers and writing (some
delivered as CBC radio talks).
Wineapple, Brenda. Margaret Atwoods
Poetry: Against Still Life. Dalhousie Review, 62:2 (Summer 1982),
Explores the variety of voices in Atwoods poetry, ranging from the
innocent to the aggressive, in a divided response to the feminine sense of social
enclosure. The question of female identities is superimposed upon a mythos of cultural
identity to suggest a uniquely Canadian correspondence between a personal and social
struggle for recognition.
Zezulka, Joseph M. Patrick Lane and the Question of
Authority. Studies in Canadian Literature, 8:2 (1983), 248-267
Lanes work is discussed in its period, the self-exploratory/revelatory 60s and
70s, searching for an individualistic outlaw mentality. Zezulka sifts
for far more serious questions of order and chaos, with the modernistic absolute of
language called into question but occasionally rescued in the grammar of
hypothesis and the realized image of the frozen moment.
Zieroth, Dale. Reclaiming the Body/Reclaiming the
Nation: A Process of Surviving Colonization in Dennis Lees Civil Elegies and
Other Poems. Canadian Literature, no. 98 (Autumn 1983), 35-43.
Zieroth stresses immediacy of perception in Lees poetry as the imagination
becomes at home in its own body, breaking down the psychological-physiological
dichotomy with political implications for the Canadian world outside.
Bentley, D.M.R. The Mower and the Boneless Acrobat:
Notes on the Stances of Baseland and Hinterland in Canadian Poetry. Studies in
Canadian Literature, 8:1 (1983), 5-48.
Bentley augments his topocentric studies on the ecology of Canadian poetry by
proposing an antithesis of baseland/hinterland cultures manifesting themselves in two
distinct artistic orientations. Oppositions of historicity and structure/openness and
spontaneity suggest East/West and urban/rural dimensions (and Apollonian/Dionysian), and
Bentley traces the influences of Tennysonian Englishness in the 1880s until its collision
with the ardency of the 1940s which produced a traditional/experimental battle which
continues today. Central to the distinction is response to landscape (hostile,
barren terrain to be subdued/vast oceanic expanse of possibility) and central
figures (personages of domestic order and settlement/explorers, vagabonds) which
characterize each stance. These are, Bentley stresses, temperaments rather than categories
and are often seen as dual impulses within a single poetic imagination as well as within
the larger cultural consciousness.
Davey, Frank. Surviving the Paraphrase: Eleven Essays
on Canadian Literature. Preface by Eli Mandel. Winnipeg: Turnstone Press, 1983. iv,
These essays, divided between poetry and fiction, confront the poetry of Pratt, MacEwen
and Atwood, providing also an encounter with the language of the contemporary
Canadian long poem, and the explorer in Western Canadian literature as
illuminated in the works of Birney, Bowering, Marlatt, and others.
Deahl, James, and Terry Barker. New Canada or True
North. CVII, 7:3 (September 1983), 33-36.
A cultural stock-taking which attempts to define Canadian Northern uniqueness in
opposition to an American-derived Southern mythology.
Johnston, George. Diction in Poetry. Canadian
Literature, no. 97 (Summer 1983), 39-44.
To illustrate the central role of diction and vocabulary structures in poetry,
Johnston draws examples from Sousters A Shadow (direct statement),
Finchs This Rose You Gave Me (the significant borrowing),
Ondaatjes Henri Rousseau and Friends (balanced tensions) and
Atwoods He Reappears (cultish specificity).
Lever, Bernice, ed. Regionalism and
Internationalism. Waves, 11:2/3 (Winter 1983), 37-46.
Statements on the influence and importance of regionalism and internationalism by
Brewster, Callaghan, Cogswell, Dempster, Livesay, Marshall, Priest, Rosenblatt, Skelton,
Sorestad and Stevens. Introduction by R. Billings.
Moisan, Clément. A Poetry of Frontiers: Comparative
Studies in Quebec/Canadian Literature. [Translated by George Lang and Linda Weber]
Victoria; Toronto: Press Porcepic, 1983. (Three Solitudes, Contemporary Literary Criticism
in Canada, 5) xi, 219 pp.
Translation of Poésie des frontières, 1979. Pairing sets of Quebecois and
English-Canadian poets, Moisan attempts to draw correlations in theme setting out
categories of poetry of clandestiny, resistance,
liberation and the brilliant minority. Among English-Canadian
poets considered are: Birney, Glassco, Page, Avison, Layton, Souster, Newlove, Atwood,
MacEwen, bissett, Nichol, and others.
Toye, William, general ed. The Oxford Companion
to Canadian Literature. Toronto; Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1983.
xviii, 843 pp.
Encompasses both English- and French-Canadian writing, also entries on writers who
settled in Canada in their maturity or, though not permanent residents, have strong
Woodcock, George. Queens Quarterly and
Canadian Culture. Queens Quarterly, 90:3 (Autumn 1983), 609-622.
Woodcock trumpets the role of Queens Quarterly in Canadian culture,
chronicling its function since 1893 in publishing and promoting literary excellence. The
article incants a list of contributors ranging from D.C. Scott, Pratt, Roberts and
Campbell to Smith, Waddington, Livesay and Birney, moving into contemporary critical and
creative contributors such as Atwood, Macpherson, Reaney, Webb, Layton, and others
all this by way of demonstrating the central place of Queens Quarterly in
the advancement and propagation of a Canadian literary consciousness.
Mary Ann Jameson