The Avison Collection at the University
of Manitoba: Poems 1929-89

by Margaret Calverley


The few volumes of poetry Margaret Avison has published since her first, Winter Sun, in 1960,1 have led critics such as Michael Higgins to state of the most recent, No Time, that any new work by her is a "literary event" and that "Consumers of Avison fare are accustomed to lengthy fasts. But our Lent is worth it."2 In the Introduction to his anthology of essays David Kent describes Avison's dislike of self-promotion and distrust of large publishing firms, noting that her recognition as a major poet "has, in effect, been achieved almost in spite of herself."3 Most critics, however, also know that Avison's small output of published work belies her prolificacy. Northrop Frye likens her to Emily Dickinson who wrote stacks of poems and invited no audience.4 In 1984 George Bowering wrote:

People say why didn't Sheila Watson publish another novel. They say why hasn't Margaret Avison published more poetry.
     Margaret Avison has a big pile of poetry that she has not published. Publishers across the country have written to ask her for a manuscript. This has been going on for years and years.5

In May, 1989, Avison offered me the pleasure of studying this "big pile of poetry" before passing it on to the University of Manitoba Archives.6 What follows is primarily a description of the manuscript which is divided into sections representing five periods of her life. The collection of papers covers the span of her career from age 11 to the present and is, as Frye described it, a "critical haven."7

     The first section consists of poems up to the end of high school, 1935-36. A scrapbook inscribed "To Aunt Elva, Christmas, 1930. From Margaret Avison"contains mostly handwritten pieces reflecting Avison's prairie childhood and her love of nature. Poems are addressed to Autumn, waves, a storm, mosquitoes, the Depression, the drought, and so on. While most are typical of juvenilia, her development even at such an early age can be traced. Note the progression from this at age 11:

I have to have a calendar, the days and
         weeks to show,
But when it comes to seasons
Then Nature lets me know

to the following at age fifteen:

The whine of great tires on the hard, black road,
Where round the long, swift car the darkness flowed;
Grey, rigid poles that solemnly slid by;
The sibilance from a rugged pine trees' [sic] sigh;
Rust-green tuft grass that waved in frenzied fright...8

Sixteen of these poems (including the two cited above) were printed in the Toronto Globe and Mail between 1929 and 1935. The "Circle of Young Canada" was a weekend feature in the Globe and required contributors to use pseudonyms; Avison created the name "Willamac."9 Three poems, as well, were printed in the Humberside Collegiate paper, "The Hermes," in 1932.10 The originals of the published poems, "Optional" and "Gatineau," also appear here in holograph form.

     This first group of poems contains a wealth of themes, interests, and styles. Where the very early poems had looked primarily to the natural world for their sources, by late high school Avison was commenting on technology, writing political satires (e.g., a prize essay titled "Some Call It Fame"), and attempting the long narrative poem. 'The Agnes Cleves Papers" is her only published poem of any great length, but a number of longer poems are in the manuscript, beginning with one of sixteen handwritten pages in this section. Entitled "Gotterdammemung? Them, Einhert," it explores the gradual break down of a family unit as the father's love for the traditional Christian God is replaced by that for a technological one.

     The second section of the collection is the longest with 135 poems attributed by Avison to the period between the summer of 1936 and 1939-40.11 A published poem, "MARIA MINOR," is both handwritten and revised in typeprint with some punctuation and word changes. Avison has annotated this revision (in recent pencil), a practice that is not typical either in her published work or in this manuscript, although a poem addressed to T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound, in section three, is also given recent marginal comment. Her comments on "MARIA MINOR" help elucidate the meaning of this otherwise obscure poem. Of the title she states: "Mother of Man the Individual (Minor quam Mater Christi)." Stanza one she explains is 'just pre-Renaissance"; stanza two is "early 17th c. mixture 16th c. + Metaphysicals"; and stanza three is "20th c. aggregate not individual as the entity." Three other poems, "The simple horizontal," "Geometaphysics" and "The iconoclasts," which were published, but not until 1947, are also found in this early group of poems.

     This second group may be of particular interest to Avison scholars because of the variety of styles and because of the poetic maturity which is so evident even at a young age. Many poems give a strong sense of the poet's inner yearnings, inviting more of an intimacy than one experiences in her published poems where the voice often remains only a persona. Here we get a glimpse of Margaret Avison, the struggling adolescent, speaking in forthright honesty. One of her longer poems, five typed pages (untitled), begins:

These girls laugh easily
Passing under my window.
My page is veiled in motes from the late sun.
It gives my heart a leap. I feel an impulse
To break this peace by letting someone know
They laughed, sun ripened west, light cast a wandering
                                               fresco, hours lapped
An unresisting summer shore where I
Was pleased to lose myself....

Another untitled piece opens:

I woke to find my body
Inserted in these pale sheets
Langorous [sic] lying pale
Drenched petals of early air flipped on my skin
The room thought itself into silver corners
       The curtain moved
   I moved
Hurt with the virgin touch of these pale sheets....

In "City of April" she demands the attention of a listening presence, be it the reader, a second person, or various sides of herself.'12 The poem is an intriguing invitation into her fantasies:

This is about me, and you must listen —
You who sit naked on the bed, folding your hands about
                                                                     your toes,
knowing how foolish it is to do so
but alone, so safe and free to be foolish.
And to you, drying your hands on the towel
And glancing half-careless in the mirror the while
To see how you looked when you said it, an hour ago.
And to you, riding home in the streetcar
flattering him with your questions "What does that
                                                                 stripe mean?
There — on the air-force guy — that stripe on his
What does that stand for?" flattering him, and gentle
because your perfume stirs you, and seeing the store
and picturing what you will wear to work tomorrow....

     Avison's love of word-play and riddles becomes increasingly evident in this section. In "Pieces for the dictionary. . . / (GLOSSARY IN A MINOR)" she creates her own definitions for "Ecstatic," "Veriest," "Divine," and "Zealot." In "Politics in prosody: a riddle" she plays with poetic meter while satirizing politics:

anna is a tool.jpg (59153 bytes)

In others, such as the following, she plays with words, sounds and rhythms:

Hay foot straw foot
Sunbarrow Wheelbarrow
Barnroofwindstick elbowing sky
She sells seashells..

     Other poems in this group clearly tie in with the symbolic structure of some of the published pieces. One cluster, 'The dispersal," "Audience Dis persed," "Simon Buckminster (SR)," and "Manley Buckminster," plays with ideas and allusions similar to those in the published "Dispersed Titles" (WS). All give varying perspectives on a society intent on technological advance ments and thus distanced from a source of truth found only in the experience of the here-and-now. The unpublished poems clarif~r the ironic images of flight and astronomy in the highly complex and allusive "Dispersed Titles." Another, "Apocalyptic," links to "Apocalyptic?" and "Apocalyptics" in Winter Sun in its search for the music of an epiphany.

     This questioning of a possibly Christian solution to the human condition is even more explicit in the manuscript than it is in Avison's early published poetry. In Winter Sun God and Christ are not directly named; the poet can only "smell" a presence or imagine a possible "lighting up of the terrain." In an unpublished piece she struggles in despair over her lack of faith:

The light is thin and very wan
          o god forgive me
Designs, stacatoo [sic], neatly drawn
By rain-spats. And your soul withdrawn
To remoter hemispheres
Beyond the reach of rain — or tears. . .

The following lines from another poem express man's longings for godly perfection and immortality which he seeks because he was made in God's image. He can never attain such perfection precisely because he is no more than a likeness, and perhaps also because he is not yet ready for the commit ment which faith in God demands:

God is timeless, is as one breath or the whole of the
We, the alien ones, yearn for endurance
       Without passivity,
We hold in our hearts the memory of the day
That escapes the cruel rhythm of the hours.
But it is with fear that we hold it to us.
       We who are but in the image of God
And yet — not-God.

     Section three consists of 107 poems written between 1939-40 and 1952.13 This group is a continuation of the same themes and styles with, perhaps, a stronger sense of a searching and probing toward a new beginning. "Change able Times," like so many of her early published poems, seeks the "turning point," the "Prelude" (WS). The unexpected images and precision of expression are representative of her style throughout the collection:

In mathematical clarity, April air
is merciless. The tin sharp shadows play
in two dimensions, in the bandboxed world.

This night
under the fading blue and its thin branches
recalls the labyrinth of suns
through which we plunge, maintaining
decorum, in our orbit

The birds already are
braced for the assault of
a new daybreak.

"Tentative hour" is another example and employs typically Avisonian leaps in time and space to jolt the reader into awareness. The poet envisions an "idly waiting / god" at twilight, his "brightness" like clean rocks "naked in / Labrador's narrow midday." Man "Yearn[s] towards that queer divinity which he "can't see" and only "dimly knows." A sense of nervous expectation pervades the poem as "Bushes shiver, / Insects budge, waving their feelers," "Roofs huddle," and "Someone lurks at the forest-edge of space." The closing lines echo those in "Apocalpytics (HI)" (WS) where the poet asks:

Don't you suppose
Anything could start it?
                                   Music and all?

Here, in 'Tentative hour," she notes man's substitution of his own "fake" words for the true ones of God, but also man's occasional surety:

That creatures need a
Harmonious phrase, perhaps, a meaning

     Some poems in this section address political and literary figures such as Emma Goldman, Lionel Trilling, Thomas Lovell Beddoes, and T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound. Others exemplify her wit. The following is an excerpt from "By indirection find Direction out... .' / In lieu of a reply to the questionnaire sent out by the editors of Direction of February 10, 1946.)":

("1. From your experience would you say that the audience
       for serious writing has appreciatively increased in
       Canada over the past five years?")

       Invoking "my experience"
       You set yourselves at variance
       With that statistical reliability
       Which might establish Canada's ability
       To be as solemn with its library shelves
       As you have proved you can be with yourselves.

       But here's my serious audience, for your pigeonhole:
              Commuting once in Hull
              I saw a streetcar full
       All reading War and Peace in the original.

       And since that happened just five years ago
       My answer to your first question is "no". .

     The humour and satire are balanced by poems which explore the devastation and pathos of war: "To Gunther / American Zone / Germany," "May Evening 1945," "The Spheres," "After Bomb News," "Comment on SeptI45 at Simcoe Hall and a Question," and so on. In poems such as the following (untitled) the pain is simply, and forcefully, expressed:

A sad thing happened tonight.
This is the sad night, the time of sorrow.
No-one is crying. No, one has no way,
No words, no gestures now, no blasphemies,
Only the long wet streets and people passing
Numbshouldered [....]
A taxi slaps through a puddle. Lights swerve by.
And here a newsboy huddles on the corner.
Yes, boy, it happened. This is the real sadness....

     Section four contains 76 poems written between 1953 and January 4, 1963, the time of Avison's conversion to Christianity. Three of the poems are photocopied from Origin: "Diminuendo," "To a Period," and "Streetcar." Typed originals of other published poems are also included: "HOLIDAY PLANS FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY," "To Jacques Ellul," "The typogra pher's ornate symbol at the end of a chapter or a story," "CHESTNUT TREE THREE STOREYS UP," and "Hot June." Other poems include tributes to Swinburne, Frank R. Scott,14 and Kenneth Yukich, a young Canadian poet Avison encouraged in the early 1960's.15

     Avison's distrust of political leaders is again evident, and perhaps peaks in its biting satire of elections and silly enterprises. "Campaign Speech in Canada in 1989," written in 1956,16 is both in prose (six typed pages) and poetry (ten typed pages) and attacks the promises made to the average man in the 1950s, "After the years of bomb and boon, the years when nobody stayed home and many had no home to stay in.. . . In "The Opening of Parliament Ceremonies, Snowy Day"17 she queries "0 which is wolves & which is sheople?" The speaker has just come "sheepily out of the subway (or sheep dip) / (prepared for fleecing)" when she notices "an Ontario Government troupee [sic] . . . holding / a revolution of Queen's Park / against snow. . . ." In "Pity for mayors and all of us" she laments the breaking up of natural landscapes for "thoroughfares," and "residential" and "shopping districts." At a mayor's meeting men examine a "glass topped map":

This useful extension of their knowledge about parks
in metropolitan areas
Would be associated dimly forever
For them with noonday hunder and distaste.
The whole ravine can be examined
In one brisk Saturday afternoon.

     Themes in this section are generally similar to those found elsewhere in the manuscript and in Avison's published work. She places significance on the seemingly trivial and unimportant, e.g., "Rooming house no. 2," "Toronto Sunday," and "A leaf" (much like "A Nameless One" in The Dumbfounding); sees travelling and geographical exploration as only two dimensional, e.g., "Reverse Pygmalion" and "I think I thought I knew"; and, as in "In being" and "The Desolate Place," questions if man can once again find God's love and the newness and light of Creation. Beyond thematic concerns are examples of Avison's superb craftmanship, her impressive variety of verse forms, and her dexterity with words. The poem to Swinburne gives a beautiful play of images which matches the earlier poet's skill:

The vial of springtime has broken in gold
And the pipes and stems of the shadows of trees
And poles and palings are violet strowed
On the deep fresh snow that the new sun tunnels and

     Another example of Avison's poetic mastery is seen in "Trees and Clearings" which, like Spenser's "Amoretti," mingles the sound and struc tures of Shakespearean and Petrarchan sonnets to express an unresolved conflict between man, an outsider, and the mysterious "intricate society" of trees. The anastrophic opening lines push the reader forward with tense expectancy:

The rain-stroked air with leaf-dye
and dying sun is veined.
Nearer, and bright, many small skies
around the birch-tree shine. . .

The emotional shift begins in Petrarchan style at line 9 with, "But what are men to them [trees] I know / I cannot know," but the form is further obscured by off-rhymes and by the division of the poem into three stanzas of 4, 6, and 4 lines respectively. The rhythm, as well, is somewhat irregular, both within the poem and with regard to the traditional sonnet. The lines are mostly iambic trimeter, but are interrupted by one of tetrameter length in each stanza, and by an anapest which opens the final stanza. This teasing play with texture and structure underscores the central idea expressed in the closing line that trees are "taller mysteries," or mis — trees, that is, other than or more than "trees," just as this poem is a sonnet, yet also more than a sonnet.

     The fifth and final section of the manuscript consists of 72 poems composed since January 4, 1963. Two of the poems have been published: "Part of a Debate" and "Thinking Back." An early version of "The Circuit" in sunblue is also included. A study of the differences between the rough draft and the final version of this poem indicates the extent to which Avison revised her work. (The same is true for the two drafts of the poem on Eliot and Pound in Section III.) Another, "For Those who come to Harbourfront Readings," was read by Avison at Harbourfront in the fall of 1985.18 A number of poems mark tribute: to John Lee, H. Harold Kent, Mary Anne Voelkel,19 Anna del Junco,20 and Professor Norman Endicott.21 Throughout the section Avison's devotion to God and the exuberance of her faith are markedly evident, but so are her religious questions, doubts, and fears. A list of some of the titles is indicative of her close study and celebration of the Bible: "Hymn of Unity Psalm 133," "'NO MAN COMETH ... BUT BY ME,' ""Ps. 36.9: 'For with thee is / the fountain of life,' ""Ez. 34.13," and so on.

      The first poem in the group, "Tinted nutmeg," is perhaps the best illustration of Avison's love of play with sound and image. Here she insists that the reader not just read and listen to a word, but even explore how sounds are made and how many variations exist:

With perfect propriety speak of
a Consonant,
dentals, even tongue-and-lip talk
(technical, plastic, pastel, Pinkerton,
tactile, depicted, milk?) [. . . ]
Jaw-set grows tense with
gradual, grudging, and the screw of jewels.
Weather today all glottal stops
                                and aspirants.

The play up and down in the poem from "dentals" to "portal, deep, Baltic" to "aspirants" later becomes the rising and falling of one's faith, the Herbert like pulleying back and forth, as one awaits God's grace.22 Avison's image is that of "Elevators," sparked by seeing "ten women walk into a wall, / It swallowed them all. .

What we must need is time
To practise waiting,
And time to learn to sink and climb
In practised elevating.

     Increasingly evident in this section is the central idea that while the poet's word may express inner conflict and fear, it is also the means by which she, and the reader, can come to hear the Word (hence the play with sound in the opening poem). The difficulty of the struggle is reflected in the unexpected syntax and metaphors which are disquieting and demand probing and rereading. Note the first stanza of "Giving seemed losing — to us!":

The ulalume, remote
surf-roar in space,
in right a keening, the slowed
heart-hungry Father's place.

In "Christmas 1972" her words become the "song and the glory" which celebrate "the small / swaddled Child, silent Word, / little one, maker / of all."

     The manuscript, like any unedited collection of an author, is not without its difficulties for the Avison scholar. Only the tip of the iceberg can be touched here; a thorough study, especially one which will attempt to solve the sometimes inconsistent, or at least obscure, chronology of the papers will be a lengthy research task. Since most poems are typed, final copies the actual date of composition is difficult to determine.23 Occasionally a handwritten original appears in an early group and then reappears, typed, in a later group. This calls into question the dating of the numerous typed pieces which have no original. As well, the typeprint is inconsistent. Pieces which have been produced on a recent, electric machine are mingled throughout all of the sections with older paper and typeprint. In all five groups the same fragile, yellowed paper recurs. Whether these poems were all written in the same time period, or whether the pieces of paper were of inferior quality which all aged rapidly and in the same fashion is difficult to determine. A further puzzle is that Avison clearly at different times had a numbering system which does not aid, but rather deters a serious attempt at chronology. Numbers are scattered about and repeated; Section II goes up to 60, yet a 37 is located in Section III. Some numbers recur and others are absent.24 Other problems of dating can be seen in the example of the cluster of poems which complements "Dispersed Titles," first published in 1960 and clearly a response to advances in space exploration.25 The group is in the second section of the late 1930s, yet contains a reference to a "jet pilot," a term not coined until the early 1940s.

     The result of these chronological inconsistencies is that a scholar who attempts a detailed study of Avison's growth as poet, especially as crafts man, will encounter some difficulties, Thematically, one can depict a general movement: juvenilia, the Depression, the war years, the Boom, Christianity.26 But her skill as poet is not so easily categorized, if it can be at all. What is evident at every stage of her career is her wit, imagination, intellect, and versatility with verse forms. Perhaps more significantly, reading through Avison's manuscript from those about mosquitoes and freckles at age 11 to those of devout Christian faith in her later years is like trekking through her life, feeling and seeing with her. The published poems give a sense of the poet, but they are polished versions, a created persona even in those which express a struggle with faith. The unpublished man uscript gives a more complete and thus a truer vision of this sensitive, introspective, and often vulnerable poet/person.

Notes to the Introduction

  1. Winter Sun. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1960. [abbreviated to WS throughout the paper]
    The Dumbfounding. New York: Norton, 1966.
    sunblue. Hantsport, N.S.: Lancelot, 1978.
    Winter Sun / The Dumbfounding: Poems 1940-66. Modern Canadian Poets. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1982.
    No Time. Hantsport, N.S.: Lancelot, 1989.[back]

  2. Michael Higgins, review of No Time in The Toronto Star, February 24, 1990.[back]

  3. David Kent, "Introduction" in "Lighting up the terrain": The Poetry of Margaret Avison (Toronto: ECW Press, 1987), p. i.[back]

  4. A conversation, May, 1989.[back]

  5. George Bowering, "Margaret, A Vision" in Kent, "Lighting up the terrain," p. 81.[back]

  6. The manuscript is permanently located at the Department of Archives and Special Collections in the Elizabeth Dafoe Library at the University of Manitoba. Only excerpts for critical purposes are allowed to be published, for Avison, herself, deems the poems not to be of publishable quality.[back]

  7. Dr. Frye made this comment during our conversation in May, 1989.[back]

  8. "Night Driving" was the prize poem in the Nancy Durham Contest, Oct. 14, 1933.[back]

  9. Avison explained her use of "Willamac" in a letter to me in May, 1989. In an interview in June, 1989, she gave more information about names, initials, and titles.[back]

  10. Francis Mansbridge lists the titles of these poems in his bibliography (see Kent), but seems unaware of those in the Globe. Throughout this paper I indicate which poems have been published. For full bibliographical information refer to the Catalogue of Titles and First Linee which follows this description of the collection.[back]

  11. "Gatineau" and "Optional" recur here in typed print. Three others, "Plaque for a Museum," an untitled poem, and "MARIA MINOR" appear twice in varying forms.[back]

  12. In a conversation in February, 1990, Avison said she wrote this poem at age 19 when she had been reading Russian novels.[back]

  13. This section includes the published "The Local and the Lakefront."[back]

  14. The poem is titled "To F.R.S.," initials for Frank R. Scott (Interview, June, 1989).[back]

  15. Interview, June, 1989.[back]

  16. Avison said she tried to get this piece published in 1959, but could not (Conversation, June, 1989).[back]

  17. The rough draft for this poem is inserted three pages further in the manuscript.[back]

  18. Interview, June, 1989.[back]

  19. Mary Anne Voelkel is the wife of a missionary (Interview, June, 1989).[back]

  20. Anna del Junco was the daughter of friends of Avison.[back]

  21. Endicott was one of Avison's professors at the University of Toronto.[back]

  22. Another poem in this section, "The Blindfold Christ," is modeled on Herbert's "The Sacrifice." The two poems are typed side by side.[back]

  23. Avison says she has never composed on the typewriter, for such mechanical devices distance oneself from the feel of the words (Conversation, February, 1990).[back]

  24. Avison claims to have disposed of twice as many poems as are in the manuscript (Interview, June, 1989).[back]

  25. "Denatured Nature" in No Time also ties in with this group. In January, 1990, Avison said about one-third of this new volume is old material revised.[back]

  26. Avison, herself, stated these general categories (June, 1989).[back]

Catalogue of Titles and First Lines

NOTE: Bibliographical information is given for all poems which have been published. The main source consulted was the bibliography compiled by Francis Mansbridge (see Kent, "Lighting up the terrain": The Poetry of Margaret Avison, pp. 151-212). The following abbreviations are used for volumes of Avison's work:

sunblue ... sun
Winter Sun ... WS
The Dumbfounding ... Dumb
Winter Sun / The Dumb founding ... WS/D


[#1-59 are from the scrapbook, "To Aunt Elva, Christmas, 1930"]

1. A Freckle
        "A freckle she sat on the rim of the

2. The Music of the Waves
        "The thunder of thousands of worlds
     gone by"

3. The God of the Storm
        "The grey of the sea meets the grey
     of the sky"

4. My Holiday
        "Running through the forest green"

5. Vespers
        "Did you ever take a ramble when
     the twilight hour has come"

6. In Autumn
        "Tell me, what could be so lovely
     as our Nature in the fall"
7. Which?
        "Oh! you tiny fairys dancing in
     among the trees" [sic]

[#8-22 are inserted in the scrapbook and are clippings from The Globe and Mail]

8. Nature's Calendar [Oct. 19, 1929, age 11]
        "I have to use a calendar, the days and
     weeks to show,
        But when it comes to seasons
        Then Nature lets me know"

9. Christmas Eve [age 11]
        "Packed the snow by many feet"

10. Charon [May 7, 1932, age 13]
        "God of currents swift and rushing"

[#11-22 are published under the pseudonym, "Willamac"]

11. The Quest [Feb. 17, 1933]
        "He had clutched at it when its first
     frail rays"

12. Milya, Little Worker [June 10, 1933]
        "When the humming and the drumming
        Of a new existence coming"

13. The Farm — Before Breakfast
        "Warm sun upon the woodpile"

14. Night Driving
        "The whine of great tires on the hard, black road"

15. Mosquitoes
        "A straggly legged mosquito,
        A speckled, big, fat fellow
        Had squatted on my elbow."

16. Drowsiness
        "Deep, warm quiet, and a soft armchair"

17. Depression! [Nov. 25, 1933]
        "The heavy streets are glistening and

18. Black [Feb. 10, 1934]
        "The big waves foam and run and break"

19. The Street Lamp's Soliloquy [Dec. 23, 1933]
        "Oh, it is splendid to be a little corner street lamp
     and Christmas Eve!" [sic] [short prose piece]

20. Sleepless [June, 1934]
        "Left side, right side, heat infernal"

21. Some Call It Fame    [Prize essay in the Nancy Durham
                                         Contest, Oct. 20, 1934, age 16]
        "A Statesman! A leader chosen by democracy!"
                                                       [prose satire]

22. Icicles [age 16]
        "A knot of icicles on the eave"
[#23-25 are clippings from "The Hermes" [Humberside Collegiate], 1932]

23. To An Apple-Core
        "Poor ugly, shrivelled, useless, withered thing"

24. The Prairie
        "The grassy plain, in grey monotony"

25. An Argument for Joy
        "They call this earthly world a vale of tears"
     [end of inserts]

26. Pleading with Dame December [Dec. 1930]
        "Is it Autumn? — is it winter?"

27. The Funeral of Autumn
        ''The sky was draped in mourning"

28. Untitled
        " 'Twas over the crown of the moonlit"

29. Christmas Eve [Christmas, 1929]
      [same as #9—here in handwriting]

30. The Man in the Moon (Bruce Beach, 1930)
      "The Man in the moon is a carefree
         old fellow"

31. The Close of Day  [June, 1926]
        "The trees are rocking the birds to rest"

32. Blueberry Picking  [July, 1926]
        "Straw hat is pulled on curly head"

33 Undercurrent [The Globe and Mail July 20, 1935]
        "0 earth, so dazzled with immensity"

34. A Tribute to Mother
        " 'Twas eventide; the child to worship knelt"

35. An Easter Prayer
        "A trial short — a crown of thorns — a
      raving, sneering mob"
36. Fun
        "The grass lies green, the trees are grey"

37. Beyond the Mist
        "April is come! the world awakes" [poem crossed out]

38. A Spring Jubilance
        "The wild wind of March sweeps in force o'er
      the plains"

39. The Trojan Princess's Defiance
        "The great man ceased — 'Oh let her grace begin'"

40. Drought
        "Master Waterworks Commander stepped in
        haste up to a cloud"

41. Untitled [mid-high school]
        "Oh if I were influencial [sic]
        It would be quite providential
        For the city of Toronto"

42. Friendless youth
        "Disconsolate, even despairing of life and
                                         its issues"

43. Life Without Hope of Immortality
        "A gasp — a sigh — the bated breath —"

44. Little Star Prilly
        "Little Star Prilly sat up in her bed"

45. A Miracle
        "The world is full of common, open things"

46. Daddy
        "A minister's a solemn kind of man"

47. The Cry of the Indolent
        "Lord, give to me sweet death and give it soon"

48. The Brook
        "The morning breaks in smiles o'er all the land"

49. An Autumn Drizzle
        ''The skies are leaden — forbidding"

50. Greek Influence in (Jewish Hist) [mid-high school essay]
        "To understand the measure and nature of Greek

51. Untitled [written on a page within the essay]
        "This is the little lonely nook where the tears of the
                                                             wild land dwell"

52. Untitled [late high school]
        "The rush of the clear dark, blue and deep"

53. Untitled
        "Pallidly bleak is the surface of things"

54. Guātineau [sic] [insert]
        "There is a rock at the river edge" [same as "Gatineau."
Acta Victoriana [Victoria College, Univ. of Toronto], 64, No. 2 (Dec. 1939), front- ispiece. Rpt. in Canadian Poetry Magazine, 4, No. 3 (Dec. 1939), p.19]

55. The City's Nightfall
        "Gusts from the east sigh fitfully. The quietude is

56. Untitled
        "Oh heavy twilight gloom oh huddled city there"

57. Untitled
        "Wind, an October wind and clean deep sky"

58. Untitled
        "The heavy streets are glistening and grey"

59. A list of birds Avison saw on outings in 1934.

60. Some untitled fragments:
        "But it was plain that if the wheel should flip [sic?]"
        "Man must have lived — must live on when he dies"
        "Shere — circle — spiral on & on & on" [sic]
        "A baby with a Personality"


61. Gotterdammerung? Them    Einhert
        "The kettle simmered. The scarlet sunwarm smell
        Of red geraniums made gladness swell"    [16 pages]

62. Two boys
        "'Where have you found this queer
        Immaculate smile?' The wind"

63. Untitled
        "When cats flatten on fences"

64. Untitled
        "What do you hear when the bells ring"

65. Untitled
        "We walk over the minutes"

66. Coast Camp
        "We rode along a forest track"

67. Untitled
        "Under the onslaught of the sun"

68. Untitled
        "Tow my boat

69. Incongruesome or Art in our time [last word?]
        "Tonight I have no taste for the dull red
        moist secret place of sleep"

70. Optional [on back of #69. Handwritten draft of that in The Canadian Forum,
Jan. 1943, p. 307]
        "You do not obscure the skyline
        With geometric stone"

71. Break of Day
        "The wind it was that woke him"

72. Untitled
        "The traveller brought treasures"

73. Untitled
        "Troy passed away in one high funeral gleam" [Avison quotes this line in her review of Yeats' Collected Poems in The Canadian Forum, (Feb. 1951), p. 261. It is unclear if this line is to stand alone, or if it introduces the following stanza which begins: "I called my battle breaking men."

74. Spring: Decorators
        "The painters left their scaffolds bare"

              "All these things Are; Being — I see it void
              In a small globule of blue lumined flame"

76. Naomi in the City
        "The sunflat Sunday hours"

77. Archimedes
        "It was a steep street in an eggshell morning sky"

78. Sound and Fury
        "He shouted in the morning at the lifting of the snow"

79. For a Theme
        "Even in the early days came rumours of the singer"

80. A measure of mush to a quasi-jesus
        "Does it seem strange that I should want
        to tell a story, distantly,
        along the golden paths of evening?"

81. Untitled
        "Do we fight for the things we cherish"

        "Bowen looked over his shoulder"


II SUMMER '36 - 1939-40

1. Untitled
        "Thin stands the sapling"

2. The Hanging of Steven [19 pages]
        "They would say: 'That was a curious dream.'"

3. Untitled
        "They roll down the cliffs and into the sea"

        "We would experiment with Death" [poem crossed out]

5. They did not choose...
        "They did not choose that they will not relinquish"

6. Untitled [5 pages]
        "These girls laugh easily"

7. Untitled
        "The waxen hands that lift and bear away"

8. Morning Piece
        "There were seven stars in the morning sky"

9. Plaque for a Museum
        "There is an inland river

10. Untitled
        "The woman mouthing hymns can understand"

11. Untitled
        "The sky is not a drought for us"

12. The simple horizontal [The Book of Canadian Poetry. Ed. A.J.M. Smith.
Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1943, p. 428.]
        "The simple horizontal
        Is a lie dull eyes create"

13. Geography of the secret
        "The places where things grow"

14. A moral tale
        "The pantrymaid that chopped the chives"

15. Untitled
        "The rainsweet gray of this forgotten morning"

16. The Spending of the Seed [originally, No Graven Image]
        "The mourning murderer-sweetheart now"

17. August Afternoon
        "The long striped afternoon moves carelessly"

18. Untitled
        "Gregory was handsome in a tweed sort of way

19. Untitled
        "I woke to find my body" [poem crossed out]

20. The foghorn...
        "The foghorn like a grey stone wall"

21. Coda and variations
        "The evening ended with a game of dominoes"

22. GEOMETAPHYSICS [Poetry [Chicago], 70 (Sept. 1947), pp. 318-19.]
        "The earth was once a circle-stage"

23. Yarely then
        "The doom we now invoke"

24. The iconoclasts [Ibid., pp. 319-20.]
        "The dervish dancer on the smoking steppes"

25. Reflection on Art, Industry, and Politics
        "The contrivance would always fail to fail in its purpose"

26. Untitled
        "The cloudy mirror of the pond"

27. First Guilt
        "The child in the reefer coat"

28. The dispersal [7 pages]
        "The ancient look of roofs in evening light"

29. Optional
        [typed copy of #70 in first section]

30. Audience Dispersed
        "World is no more a stage, nor we the players"

        "With rain boiling in the asphalt court"

32. Mr. Peacock the Germanist
        "Where wit chose gravity to wed"

33. Untitled
        "That June was a year ago"

34. PLAQUE FOR A MUSEUM — same as #9

35. Gardenparty
        "When Sunday breezes fan, and sky"

36. Sonnet on the disappointment over the garden party
        for the TSO spoiled by bad weather        
        "When full sun and incipient foliage"

37. Untitled
        "What does this smell of burnt cork cenote" [sic]

38. Untitled
        "Underneath the pavement, even"

39. Untitled
        "What castle hides this L-shaped drawing-room"

40. It is like a sickness
        "Well then, I am sick; it is like a sickness"

        "We who walk the bald earth"

42. Untitled
        "We move in rhythm, being in the image of God"

43. The road
        "Turn off the road Mister"

        "Tudor is my brother.
        Tudor is a thief."

45. August
        "To go out on the hills on a cloudy mid-August midmorning"

46. Untitled
        ''To tell what is from what appears"

47. Untitled [p. 3 — pp. 1 & 2 missing]
        "Through station corridors and waiting rooms"

48. Untitled
        "Through the long night the fog-horn sounded"

49. Untitled
        "This is a year
        Like great stone pillars bare against a blind
                                                     white sky."

50. City of April
        "This is about me, and you must listen —
        You who sit naked on the bed, folding your hands about
                                                                             your toes"

51. Untitled
        "This is a year" [revision of #49]

52. THIN ELEMENTAL [poem crossed out]
        "Like forty raw spy-apples bulging a hamper"

53. Untitled
        "A dog's bark like a biscuit broken"

54. SEPTEMBER 1939 [written in May '39]
        "A plane drones high in the stillness"

55. Untitled
        "at a nicked counter"

56. Egotist
        "And all this out of tune"

57. The Woodcutter's Wife: A Lament
        "A wall of fair blue ocean curls to sever"

58. April Afternoon
        "A stained horizon and a loony lift"

59. The shadow is the soul
        "Adam felt himself a summit of organpipes"

60. Untitled
        "A prairie house is made of wood"

61. Untitled
        "Barber barber cull my tresses
        From apocalyptic stresses"

62. Untitled
        "Four legs marching eight arms swinging"

63. After due process
        "Fountain, plash me under"

64. Untitled
        "For words once uttered make of honesty"

65. Untitled
        "For to us blazing little mites"

        "For if I must select a single acre"

        "Flim-flam moon-pitted wind-smitten slit-slat-leaf-whortled"

68. GATINEAU [c.f. Guātineau, #54 in first section where it is handwritten on a
        slip inserted in the scrap book. Here the poem is typed and crossed out.]

69. Pieces for the dictionary. . .
                                  (GLOSSARY IN A MINOR)
      "ECSTATIC: Faraday in bicycle-slips in a (blip) cinder lane"

70. Untitled
        "God knows I
        Cannot condemn
        Her for her tarnished

71. JULY 3
        "Earth turning brown once more into the shadows"

72. Untitled
        "Earth heaved and spewed me up"

73. Untitled
        "Dimness of tangled underbrush burned deep"

74. Untitled
        "Did you admit to appalling myopeia?" [sic]

75. Centrifugue
        "Delicately, step delicately"

76. Politics in prosody: a riddle
        "Decisive (amphibrach) I strode to sea"

77. There, and Here
        "Day is an eye — but there —"

        "Cretans of aftertime"

79. Untitled
        "Did it hurt to die Bertel"

80. To the Adman
        "By visual design"

81. Abest
        "Blonde like a little dutchcut child"

82. Untitled
        "Bitter bitter is the kernel"

        "Barrel staves and Damascus skins"

84. Untitled
        "Because it snowed transparent April snow"

85. Untitled
        "At the mould-green hour of night"

86. Untitled      [poem crossed out]
        "There used to be a margin on my clock"

        "How did we get in prison"

88. Untitled
        "There is a tide that flows"

        "I came on a spare corner in time"

90. MARIA MINOR [The Book of Canadian Poetry, p. 428.]
        "I conceived. And Sorrow"

91. Untitled
        "I dreamed a dream of Bethlehem''

92. Untitled
        "I have seen the snow fall" [followed by a revision]

93. Untitled
        "I sat on the little wooden wharf"

94. Untitled [recent insert]
        "If this aery globe were a melon"

95. Untitled
        "If we had grace to fear All Hallow's Eve"

96. To a thickset five o'clock stranger
        "If, in a scarf light as a swallow's flight"

97. Untitled
        "(tense) I would speak one preposterous Word"

98. Untitled
        "I saw one walking out tonight"

        "He wore a red shirt and a Burberry coat"

100. Untitled
          "He who could define truth"

          "He is a simple man in a blue shirt"

102. Untitled
          "He came with a bustle, announcing the holiday"

103. Untitled
          "Hay foot straw foot"

104. Noah
          "Had Noah seen himself as casual flotsam"

          "From far away we used to hear it
          (Ulula in desolate rainy places)"

106. Untitled
          "Round us the crazyslanting forest"

107. Untitled
          "Sawdust in a pool of sun"

108. Untitled
          "From a wire construct"

109. Toronto Sunday
          "From this back window where the sun is fanned"

110. Sky
          "Such sky, in one brief dim of day —

111. Crisis
          "So we turn in the middle air together"

112. Untitled
          "So in this glass-clear dawn"

113. Three views on the unfortunate survivor
          'Seep it is broken,' said Martin"

114. Apocalyptic
          "Round the helix of the ear"

115. Untitled
          "Remember that girl in Glasgow Montana"

116. Remember, on waking
          "Remember, on waking"

          "Poor child. She was too old for this"

118. Snow in December and in March
          "One kind of shovelling you hear"

          "Out of the swamp he came"

120. Untitled
          "Ours was a forlorn grassy country"

121. Untitled [poem crossed out]
          "Where the tree grew ground was hard"

122. Lament for a friend
          "One blanched almond evening"

123. Sea-Light
          "Old Chaos or Noel, who rules tonight?"

124. Untitled
          "0 in the city at midnight"

125. Valleys and Shadows
          "My daughter is asleep, though still the evening"

          "Now with a rush the children of men"

127. Spanish sequence
          "Night was ablaze along the shore"

128. Sadness
          "My heart is open, like a disused barn"

129. Untitled [on back of page is handwritten original of MARIA MINOR, #90]
          "Like lean dull-Golden tigresses"

130. Complete
          "The medieval town was walled"

          "In the bare back room with its three small tables"

132. The Tenants
          "In the October moonlight"

133. Crow and Willow
          "It startles you like Iceland poppies"

134. Untitled
          "It is ill to cry with emptiness"

135. Norah talking to Mauber [sp ?], the night they became engaged [originally:
        a young woman talking to a young man the night they become engaged]
          "In the glassed porch"

III. 1939 -40 to 1952

1. Untitled
        "The Mortimer Snerds we went to High school with"

2. Untitled
        "The grassy amphitheatre only stirs"

3. The flying fish [originally: WHIFFLE]
        "The flying fish"

4. UPON NOT MEETING A GARGOYLE [poem crossed out]
        "The yellow cobbles in a clammy sweat"

5. To an American poet
        "The creaming crashing ocean, to your left"

6. The Local and the Lakefront [Origin, Ser. 2, No. 4 (Jan. 1962), pp. 3-4.]
        "The crankle can occur"

7. The cold blowing
        "The cold blowing of March in the oaks"

8. The lover's lament
        "The cell inviolate eschews"

9. A disgruntled employee enjoys disposing of rivals before enjoying time off with a       friend.
        " 'The boy with the brilliant promise"

10. Uses of trees
        "The apple's stem"

11. To Gūnther
        American Zone
        Germany                   (1953)
        "Three holes in an old shutter"

12.   Stone over Friday
     Poem with a bad word in it
        "Those who meet"

13. Untitled
        "Through the bakery window"

14. The Day of MacB—'s Funeral
        "This must be very exact — far more exact"

        "This we have compassed. The remaining days"

16. Changeable Times
        "This morning were you struck with admiration"

17. EPISTLE [7 pages, May 25, 1950]
        ''This is an application for assistance"

18. Untitled
        "This eggshape you conceived God"

19. Untitled
        ''These are all in a way acquaintances"

20. After a conversation (Emma Goldman)
        "This Emma who brewed wieners for a crew"

21. In October
        "This is the season when along the walks"

22. A Frontier
        "There are some hurts young trees cannot survive"

23. Untitled
        "The standing guests, a grotesque glade"

24. Hubris (Instead of Euthanasia, War, Birth-
                   Control, Suicide, Capital Punishment,
                   Genocide, etc.)
        "The universe is,
        Yes, a Making."

25. Untitled [3 pages]
        "The portrait gallery, as we entered it"

26. Reflective March
        "The sodden mat of last year's grass"

27. Untitled
        "The square stone tower, its flagpole towards one corner"

28. Election
        "The poll clerk had a hat"

29. p.m. and a.m.
        "The mother in an evening"

30. "By indirection find Direction out. . ."
        "(In lieu of a reply to the questionnaire sent out by the
        editors of Direction on February 10, 1946.)"

31. Thirst is Strangeness
        "With bridled passion the beginning spring"

32. Untitled
        "You make a pennant of their sorrow"

33. Trilling's Comment
        "Who could have dreamed the dream men inhabit?"

34. May Evening 1945
        "When the tallow candles of mourning felt the air"

35. Untitled
        "You know how the lilac-coloured evening"

36. Bourne and the Womb
        "When the mountains of rock are swung to sun"

37. Net Working
        "When he reached me the fishy glove"

38. The Spheres
        "When I am deep in hate I do not murder"

39. Untitled
        "What is the office of the seventh hour?"

40. Time: enemy of new friendships
        "Two strangers met in child-light"

41. Untitled
        "What a buffoon in small am I"

42. Valid Views of Rimbaud's Africk Years as Clefs aux Personnes
        "To go out, to find"

43. Youth : Age
        "Tides suck up simmering miles"

44. History
        "Through the visor of one of the"

45. The Institution
        "Look to see the impossible favourites"

46. The desolate castellan calls
                for a minstrel [June 13, 1950]
        "A swollen foot and a hungry paunch"

47. Untitled
        "A soiled white dog and a soiled white stone"

48. Untitled
        "A sad thing happened tonight"

49. Midsummer
        "A Persian moon that rises from a book"

50 Interaction
        "A kite snags on"

51. Beddoes
        "A chemist, Englishman, doctor, in a"

        "In the days when there was snow"

53. TRAVEL [originally, PATRIOT (CANADIAN)]
        "If you see them at the depots"

54. Untitled
        "If you know what you've heard"

55. Untitled [CIIA — wartime — for Bobby Adamson who married
        Regmore Christophersome — sp?]
        "I have at hand"

56. Riddle
        "I bade you bet a Grecian sum"

57. Untitled
        "I am ashamed at daybreak"

58. ((NOT the Kirklands))
        "Here by the Gothic stone of the woollen mills"

59. the Rueful Pilgrim
        "["I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown."]"

        "He squares the windows of the rooms he walks in"

61. Biography
        "Glamorgan in the Glee sang"

62. Centripetal
        "Mount Ararat shows sombre browns and purples"

63. Untitled
        "Man, in a dirty mackintosh"

64. Betrayal
        "Morning shadows mark the rendezvous"

65. Untitled
        "Meeting in some translucent medium"

66. Untitled
        "Look — I give you the day"

67. Looking back on the Decisive Moment
        "Like a throw of dice"

68. Untitled
        "Life in a mousehole"

69. The coward
        "Leaving the warm confusion of the company"

70. Untitled
        "It doesn't matter whether it's a warehouse"

71. The slow fear
        "In this office we are few"

72. Love
        "In the psyche"

73. Italian littoral
        "One morning, from the tallow of"

74. One man, and one stone wall,
                                                and one cracked cranium. . .
[unclear if this is the title or the first line]
        "Don't let me say it that way"

75. Untitled
        "0 you who stand among the twisting trees"

76. Change
        "Now, the late summer passed, few revellers"

77. Untitled
        "Now that the wind blows'

78. After Bomb News
        "Now that the sun is fair, and green"

79. December Difference
        "Now, at this quiet moment, when the pale moon"

80. Untitled
        "My spirits could be fused in this hard sun"

81. Untitled
        "Put up a bronze monument of pity"

82. Untitled
        "Suppose a parasitic vine"

83. Untitled
        "Sweet sir, your songs are excellent"

84. Untitled
        "So many persons here so well-behaved"

        "Since you and I loosed our reluctant hands"

86. Rattling Chains
        "Reading the paper is moral."

        "Rain is a general thing, and a wet thing"

88. Chrysales
        "Out of the noon of their day two have turned pilgrim"

89. Social Order
        "Out of the velvet dust"

90. This is the Way the Joke Dissolves
                                                (in Cycles)
        "Open the books there. Enter in my credit"

91. Eliot and Pound
        "Only moonshape ponderously adrift"

92. TSE
        (when EP was insanitized)
        "Who walks not humbly with his God"
[#92 is a typed revision of #91]

93. Quietness
        "Far out the humming night"

94. Isolation etude
        "Everything else tonight has turned"

95. Fabulous architects
        "Earth's knuckled temples and curled horns they probed"

96. Comment on Sept/45 at Simcoe Hall
                        and a Question
        "Dank straw, stray branches caked in mud"

        "Champlain sailed to Canada"

98. THE STORY OF EXPLORATION [stapled to #97]
        "La Salle
        (Réné Robert Cavalier Sieur de)"

99. The World, The Flesh [written in pencil in corner]
        "Buffalo kills lit up"

100. Lights on exile
           "Both of us, I would guess, but certainly I"

101. Loose Ends (1940)
           "Blue sky, yellow sky, green sky, black"

           "Birch leaves, leaves of the blackthorn basswood"

103. Winged Chariot
           "Beauty wooed Virtue. (Virtue had flirted first.)"

104. A University Clerk responds to the Addresses of the University Job Evaluator
           "As the rites of Efficiency demand"
           [late 1940's — marginal comments by author]

105. The chain
           "Are your desert visionaries"

106. Untitled
           "About that rain that falls"

107. Tentative hour
           "Air swollen with damp, and trees"

IV. 1953 to JANUARY, 1963

1. Untitled
       "Who goes there and where was I" [recent insert?]

2. Untitled
       "When once a year"

3. Back to school: A Dream
       "When you have been grown up for fifteen years"

  1940-60. Ed. Milton Wilson. New Canadian Library Original, No. 4.
  Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1964, p. 110.]
       "When daylight is broad"

5. In being
       "What is this clear well-spring of terror?"

6. Untitled
       "Toronto is runged with" [sic]

7. Untitled [same page as #6]
       "The enbloc [sp?] overbearingly generalistic"

8. Women's waiting-room
       "Three station matrons dressed in white"

9. The typographer's ornate symbol at the end of a chapter or a story [Origin,
    Ser. 2, No. 4 (Jan. 1962), pp. 14-15.]
       "This is another time"

10. Range and Precision [originally: Campaign Speech]
         "There is to find a spring"

          "Thieves in the kitchen"

12. Reverse Pygmalion
         "There is much comfort in a map"

13. Untitled
         "There is a sky of grass-roots"

14. To Mr. Swinburne
         "The vial of springtime has broken in gold"

15. Walking trip
         "The road was coming to a sharp hill"

16. Trees and Clearings
         "The rain-stroked air with leaf-dye"

17. Plaque for a Medical Arts Waiting Room
         "The peanut shells are silted over
      [a number of revisions made to this poem]

18. Prism and privacy
         "The mountain lion, when his leg is broken"

19. The Desolate Place
         "The love of God I know about"

20. Untitled fragment      [the "Beginning of a Story"]
         "The little silver basins tremble"

21. Adam and the Orchard
         "The genial moralist, aware"

for a mortal creature / one season may be all the change he sees.]
         "The break-up finds" ["Eli Mandel" written in corner of page]

23. To a Period [Origin, Ser. 2, No. 4 (Jan. 1962), pp. 12-13.]
         "The bird pheasant"

24. Untitled
         "The ancient echoing, vaulted dynasties"

25. Span [Feb. 1955] "Butcher lurks"

26. Streetcar [Ibid., pp. 6-7.]
         "Bundled up in"


28. TRUST REWARDED: for Kenneth Yukich
         "The crud and crust and scale"

29. Pity for Mayors and all of us
         "At the mayor's meeting men from the other cities"

30. To the Young Perceiver, the Ultimate Receiver
         "Brooding boy in the windowseat"

31. Untitled
         "Art is the incarnation of the secret"

32. Untitled
         "A small round sky, as silken to the eye"

33. Scenes for Cinerama
         "Anne had a wristwatch on her arm"

34. To Jacques Ellul [BlewOintment [Vancouver], 5, No. 1 (Jan. 1967), n.pag.]
         "A junk truck stopped"

35. Parabaltic
         "A wind like this if trees were rich in green"

36. A CAMPAIGN SPEECH IN CANADA IN 1989 [written in 1959]
"After the years of bomb and boom, the years when nobody stayed home. .. ." [an
essay in prose - 6 pages; in verse - 9 pages]

37. Without a hey nonny [originally, AETAS]
         "A poet gave a seminar"

38. To F.R.S.
         "A couple of stained-glass figures"

39. From the street level
         "If pears were small and perfect things"

40. Untitled
         "If all who wore the finest tailored silks"

41. The Opening of Parliament Ceremonies, Snowy Day
         "I just came sheepily out of the subway (or sheep-dip)"

         "I helf!" [sic]

43. I Can't Read Poetry
         "I can't read poetry"

44. Rough version of #41

45. [A letter to "Eleanor" on Sat, Sept. 22 [year?] to tell her of a move to 34 East Elm
         "Here sundown is the curfew"

46. [Attached to #45 - notes to that poem]
      Rooming house no. 2 (34 E. Elm St.)
         "Unhappy ladies laughing in the hall"

47. Diminuendo [Origin, Ser. 2, No. 4 (Jan., 1962), pp. 17-18.]
         "How for joy Mr. Jollyben cried"

48. Toronto Sunday [cf. #109 in section II where the same poem is typed on fragile
old paper]
         "From this back window where the sun is fanned"

49. For of such. . .
         "For of such as Henry Madore is"

50. The Beggars are Coming?
         "Here, absolutely alone"

51. To a man who is resigned
         "Candlemas pallour makes your presence thin"

52.           Grammatical Conundrum;      OR
       First Person Plural or No Person Singular
         "Light from the star who gives us"

53. Winter Evening
         "Invisible vermillion of the winter"

54. To Kenneth Yukich
         "Kenneth, wind-soaked and sky-
                                    tethering man"

55. I think I thought I knew
         "I've read maps and maps and guidebooks"

56. A leaf
         "It takes a leaf to hold still: green"

57. Saturday train
         "In furs, or with cigars"

58. Words Preliminary to Contact (Barriers Rise and Fall)
         "If you can hear me"

59. To some poets
         "If taking all its pastness from the furture"

60. We Discussed the Modern
         "Jumble-writers have to be"

61. Paul Celan
         "On the one, the"

62. Untitled
         "No longer empty-handed am"

63. September 21
         "Mythology and methyl alcohol"

64. CHESTNUT TREE THREE STOREYS UP [Poetry 62. Ed. Eli Mandel and Jean-Guy Pilon. Toronto: Ryerson, 1961, pp. 10-11.]
         angels abiding in the sky loft"

65. Trireme, Jet, ---------
         "Marching over the hills"

66 Untitled
         "Madness you call it"

         "Looping shadows about, at 3 p.m."

68. Revolution
         "Like a twister - the old maelstrom"

69. The seventh day of rain
         "Singled out for desolation"

70. Towards the End of Daylight Saving Time [title revised]
         "Summer had been so timeless"

71. [Title unclear - "Simon" is written in top left corner]
         "Since I was suckled"

72. Lake Michigan [originally, Eftsoons]
         "Sere vineyards of sparrows"

73. Tri-ballad cycle:
                                    Cold Spring
                                    "Said the tulips to the snowbank"
                                    Northern Picnic
                                    "Up the speckled paper cup"
                                    Sam'l Becket cycles in
                                    "The snowbank isn't speaking"

74. HOT JUNE [The Canadian Forum, March, 1963, pp. 286. Dumb; WSID.]
         "People are pink-cheekt only"

         "River miles wide"

76. Latter-day saint
         "One manifest marvel"


1. Tinted nutmeg
         "With perfect propriety speak of"

2. Your term is "Rest"* [*Matt 11:29]
         "When you'd have me have your yoke"

3. Christmas 1972
         "When the Word"

4. Credo, & Hymn to the Blessed Virgin
         "There is an inseparably"

5. The Comprehending Source [originally, The Enveloping Source]
         "There is a household ahum"

6. Giving seemed losing - to us!
         "The ulalume, remote"

7. PART OF A DEBATE [Crux, Fall 1972, p. 17]
         "Q. The incarnation gives"

8. THINKING BACK [Acta Victoriana [Centennial 1878-1978], 1002, No. 2 (Fall 1978), p. 42.]
         "The bitter wet—leaf smell, darkening windows"

         "The alien invading prince"

10. Sea suds
         "What wedge is will, or why"

         "I: The Thoughts
                                    The crew-in-exile, call it, or"
[3 sections in the poem, 6 pages. Handwritten original is attached]

12. Fashion [March 12 / 65]
         "That was the year"

13. Is. 57. 18: "I have seen his ways, and will heal him."
         "These hands that hold the book"

14. To John Lee
         "Your speech (spit teeth ah flow of breath)"

15. And the world was there
         ..... The telephone in the hall said no dialling and sure
                                                         enough no office heard"

16. POLLY FLECK [fragments and rough work]
         "The otherbodies' versions

         "The only heir goes into the worst"

18. Untitled
         "The life emblazoned"

19. Untitled page with fragments of writing
         "The indigo-green flow of wind"

20. Escape and Return
         "From a wire construct" [cf. #108 in section II. This poem is a typed revision of that done in the late thirties.]

21. Community
         "Father, gather us together"

22. Untitled [June 11 / 76]

23. FEAR
         "Fear? Most, of being destroyed"

24. Untitled
         "God is the only answer"

25. Carol
         "God came where we are

26. What is 'Praise'
         "child in satin sand & swarming"

27. Untitled
         "Canvas of a Spenser — scene"

28. Hymn [originally, "IN OUR BEST INTERESTS"]
         "Comforter, strength of Christ"

29. Lament
"Empty arms"

30. Hymn: Remembering Mr. H.H. Kent
         "A waxen life in"

31. Hymn of Unity Psalm 133
         "Behold how good how pleasant"

         "Because he came down into it"

33. Plaque for a library
         "If I might be so cavalier"

34. Christmas
         "I want to see the wagons in the wood"

         "I saw ten women walk into a wall"

36. Love
         "I saw a joy that sighs and grieves"

37. Nexus
         "I let my husband die of drink"

38. Untitled
         "I pray"

         "How many ways we have"

40. Ps. 36. 9: "For with thee is
                      the fountain of life."
                      "Holy Lord Jesus"

41. No Nuke Spook on this Bright Day
      (On May 1, 1986, Expo. was to open,
      and just before the Day, there was
      a nuclear accident at Chernobyl.)
         "How we insisted on success"

42. Worker's Conference
         "On a grassy slope"

43. Untitled
         "My Presencing Lord"

44. The Blindfold Christ
         "My face they cover, mortal though divine"

[Included is a copy of Herbert's, "The Sacrifice," model for this poem.]

         "Let the badge be no invitation"

46. Towards the waker's house
         "LEARNING is a step in the dark whether"


48. In Straits* [*Ps a5: ib]
         ''In the sudden sweep"

49. To Mary Anne Voelkel (August 1988)
         "In the Garden of His love"

50. For Those who come to Harbourfront Readings
         " 'If only I could see the"

51. Ez. 34. 13
         "We sing things singable"

52. [Torn page with fragments of verses]

53. Untitled
         "You, Lord, who opened all your heart"

54. Untitled
         "0 Holy Word" [On back of #52]

55. The Sourceful
         "May 27, p.m.
                           There was an ocean of blessed forgetfulness"

         ''Turned off the TV News"

57. Luke 15 ["The way to the way" written in top corner]
         "There was a jolting"

58. Untitled [An early draft of "The Circuit" in sun, p. 55.]
         "The circuit of the Son"

59. Promise
         "The caring of God"

60. Coda
         "The breather of life"

61. For Professor Endicott
         ..... snuffing the magical air"

62. Sky
         "Sky prune-dark, and suddenly"

63. Untitled
         "Show me myself so"

64. For Anna del Junco
         "She is young. She looks across"

65. Agnostic Hymn "Seal me"

66. Conformists Who Would Be Conformed [originally: AFTER-DISTRESS
         "Sometimes the warp is off"     [March 18, 1976]

67. Fusion point
         "Reading takes in out"

68. Poor?
         "'Poverty Press?"

69. The Sacrament
         "One person, in death, removes"

         "0 God, rise sheer"

71. Untitled
         "Nothing I do or know or speak or feel"

72. The "Patient" as "Prophet"
         "Not a mother, I too"

This project was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and by a Thomas Glendenning Hamilton Research Grant from the Archives and Special Collections Department in the Elizabeth Dafoe Library at the University of Manitoba.