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Poetry Canadian

Collected Poems

by (author) Isabella Valancy Crawford

series edited by Douglas Lochhead

introduction by James Reaney

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Dec 1972
Canadian, Canadian, Canadian, Poetry, Books & Reading, Women Authors
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    Publish Date
    Dec 1972
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This volume established Isabella Valancy Crawford as one of Canada's
principal poets. Coupled with an introductory collage of viewpoints and reactions to her
work by James Reaney its provides a vivid glimpse into the literary past of this

Although her poetry reflects the patterns of her time, Isabella Valancy
Crawford was able to accept the raw and vigorous Canadian landscape on its own terms. She
was the first of our poets for whom it became the setting for struggle, passion, love,
and death. She celebrated the young land with an imagery enriched by allusions to North
American Indian lore reflected in such lines as these:

From his far wigwam sprang
the strong North Wind
And rushed with war-cry down the steep ravine,
And wrestled with the giants of the woods;
And with his ice-club beat the swelling
Of the deep water courses into death.

'These verses bear the stamp
of genius and show a true poetic instinct,' said a critic in The Canadian Magazine in
1895. The poetry of Isabella Valancy Crawford forms a vital part of the body of Canadian

About the authors

Isabella Valancy Crawford (1850-1887) was born in Dublin in 1850 and came with her family to Ontario as a small child. After some years in Peterborough she moved to Toronto and endeavoured to make a living by contributing poetry and prose to leading English, American, and Canadian journals. She died in Toronto in 1887.

Isabella Valancy Crawford's profile page

In the spring of 2001, Douglas Lochhead received the Alden Nowlan Award for Excellence in English-language Literary Arts from the Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a Member of the Order of Canada, the recipient of honorary doctorates from several universities, Professor Emeritus at Mount Allison University, Senior Fellow and Founding Librarian at Massey College, University of Toronto, and a life member of the League of Canadian Poets. After beginning his career as an advertising copywriter, he became a librarian, a professor of English, a specialist in typography and fine hand printing, and a bibliographer, scholar, and editor — indeed, he has characterized himself as “an unrepentant generalist.” At Mount Allison University, he was a founder and the director of the Centre for Canadian Studies, and he held the Edgar and Dorothy Davidson Chair in Canadian Studies.

Douglas Lochhead's profile page

James Reaney was born on a farm in South Easthope near Stratford, Ontario in 1926. He has won the Governor General's Award three times for his poetry, though he is perhaps better-known as a playwright, especially for his landmark Donnelly trilogy (1974-75). Reaney's theatrical adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Alice Through the Looking-Glass returned to the stage at Stratford in the summer of 1996.

His work includes: The Red Heart, poems, 1949; A Suit of Nettles, poems, 1958; Twelve Letters to a Small Town, poems, 1962; The Killdeer & Other Plays, drama, 1962; Colours in the Dark, drama, 1969; Collected Poems, 1972; Listen to the Wind, drama, 1972; The Donnellys, a trilogy of plays, 1974-75; Baldoon (with C.H. Gervais), 1976; The Boy With an R in His Hand, young adult, 1980; Take the Big Picture, young adult, 1986; Alice Through the Looking-Glass, stage adaptation, 1994. James Reaney died in 2008.

James Reaney's profile page

Other titles by Isabella Valancy Crawford

Other titles by Douglas Lochhead

Other titles by James Reaney