The Beginnings Of A National Literary Tradition — страница 5

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with Nature. These ideas are reflected throughout Lampman’s poetry, from the poetry that depicts his feelings of the natural world such as “Solitude” as well as the poetry that condemns the urbanized/industrialized world as in “The City Of the End if Things”. Society does corrupt man and E.K Brown even felt that Ottawa had almost corrupted Lampman(106). Lampman was privately inclined by both temperament and circumstance. His despair went deep but never so deep as to destroy or even disturb his “intuition that the core of the universe is sound”(Brown 106). His own private demons shaped his poetry. It is evident that while Lampman could see the beauty in life and in nature he had a true contempt for the society of urban life. Ottawa had even given him a disgust for

politicians. An unpublished verse that he kept within his circle of friends asserted his condemnation of the system which he was forced to live in : From the seer with his snow-white crown Through every sort and condition of bipeds, all the way down To the pimp and the politician (qtd in Brown 93). Lampman appeared to believe that political trickery and financial exploitation were permanent staples of the city. His contempt for an urban civilization seemed to draw out and depend on the worst elements of human nature. He believed that the function of Nature was to “increase the good . . . to make man nobler so that his guiding concepts and social organization will implement that nobility”(Rashley 91). Societal restrictions make it difficult for man to live in the midst of

nature. Lampman felt that society makes it difficult for a relationship to occur between man and nature. He wants to leave behind the city and its toil and tension to go into the country in search of rest and renewal. Even in present times human interest in the natural world has remained strong despite the great impact that urbanization has had upon our lives. At the time of Lampman and ‘The Confederation Poets’ Canada was young. It had “no antiquity, no legends, no impressive monuments, no places hallowed by the memory of heroic achievement, no noble architecture past or present. Everything [seemed] new and raw”(Marshall 36). With the writings of Archibald Lampman, Canadian poetry started to reach for consciousness. The significance of life was in its meanings in terms

of the environment and Nature. The recognition of the identity man has with Nature brings with it a feeling of spiritual release. The recognition that we as Canadians can identify with our land, its vastness, its extreme brings us closer to identifying with a national literature. In “Let Us Much Be With Nature” Lampman expresses just that: “I feel the tumult of new birth;/Waken with the wakening earth”(qtd. in Rashley 77). For Lampman the proper approach to our nations poetry was “self-critical Canadianism” that is still very much relevant to the poets succeeding him. There is an appreciation of the poetry’s individuality combined with judgement informed by the highest standards. According to L.R. Early Lampman “felt he was in a literary void and was deeply

interested in the prospects of Canadian poetry”(137). Lampman contributed to the Canadian sense of national literature through many instruments. His depictions of the seasons and their extremes and his use of Canadian flora and fauna eased Canadians into poetry that the nation could relate to and be familiar with. Lampman encouraged a Canadian sense of place that we can still relate to today. He wrote to a Canadian audience about Canadian images; the previous writers tended to write for European audiences that were “back home” whereas Canada was home to Lampman. Lampman felt that the “Canadian poet should make himself its sensitive recorder and thus reflect the nation without tarnishing his poetry”(Brown 95). The Canadian poet must depend on Nature and on himself, and

on these alone. Lampman’s Canadianism was of the rarest and most precious kind. It was instinctive. Barry, Lilly E.F. “Prominent Canadians- Archibald Lampman”. Critical Views on Canadian Writers: Archibald Lampman. Ed. Michael Gnarowski. Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1970. Brown,E.K. On Canadian Poetry. Ottawa: The Tecumseh Press, 1973. Connor, Carl Y. Archibald Lampman: Canadian Poet of Nature. Montreal: Louis Carrier and Co., 1929. Crawford, A.W. “Archibald Lampman”. Critical Views on Canadian Writers: Archibald Lampman. Ed. Michael Gnarowski. Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1970. Early, L.R. “Archibald Lampman (1861-1899)”. Canadian Writers and their Works Vol.II. Eds. Lecker, David, & Quigley. Ontario: ECW Press, 1983. Guthrie, Norman Gregor. The Poetry Of Archibald