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Anthology notes

Course Code
Robert Mc Gill

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October 14, 2010
Today: Lampman
The City at the End of Things
Industrialization and Apocalypse
Prophetic movement, 3 people left, no inter-relationality
Biblical allusion: city built out of pride, tower of Babylon – God makes everyone speak a
different language—disintegrated communication, dehumanized landscape, city of things not
The place is unknown
Repeated phrase of ‘face to face’ , carved idols, no subjectivity
Artifice of the city: poem that wants to be the antithesis of the city
Thatus lived in an organic, natural world
Details applied to art:stalking shadowsreechoing” – reproductions of things
Literature in the poem is mimesis
Mimesis: the representation (imitation/reflection) of the world/reality.
Organic vs. mechanical
City as the work of men, emerged from their vision but also the poets representation – one
against the other
Parallel: idiot at the gate with his deathless stare
The speakers solitary vision
Reader and poet are each solitary despite the poems need for inter-relationality
Complication: rethinking any simple note of artifice
Why is God capitalized, in poemTime”Death” and “Idiot
Idiot: what he might represent universally, embodiment and ethos
At the Long Sault May 1660
The Epyllion
Epic in everything but length
Epic: tradition use in national epic, a nations origins, creation story
Definition: a long narrative told in a formal, elevated style, and relating the story of a hero on
whom the fate of the people depends.
Challenge: to give Canada a united story
Epic usually focus on battles
Starts medias res ( the middle of things)
Epic simile: extended metaphor
Ex.tired bull moose” pg. 248
Why do deer resonant?
Garrison mentality: Moodie – natural environment vs. Lampman – aboriginals
Moments of failure: Lampman has chosen for his hero to be a martyr, who dies and ultimately
The bad guys: aboriginals win – dehumanized as animals, savage
Problematic text, elides aboriginal people with bad guys when they were originally with
Daulac too, falsifies history
Uneven meter
Move from battle into the village, third last stanza begins with ordered meter = ordered
Mimics passing of the centuries
Lullaby: soothing, everything is ordered and okay
Embodies European form

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‘ruined fort with a name that people forget’ but the poem rebuilds it, gets the reader to
Has to unify country with European epic, but further irony is the shortness of the epic, as if
Canada does not deserve the full length
Romanticism: poets of Confederation hue to closely towards European models (sonnet, epic,
idealization of nature, introspection)
Attention to particularity of the plants, locality
Substantial contribution for the poets of the Confederation is to ground poetry subject matter
into Canadian soil
Ends with organic ending, lilies of France – similarity but foundational difference
Pauline Johnson
Contemporary of Johnson but not considered a poet of Confederation, born in ONT,
Brantford Mohawk chief and English wife. Gained considerable fame for performing her
poetry “Mohawk Princess – dual ethnicity.
First half of poetry about Aboriginals – wore costume, Pan Indian look
Second half of the evening nature poems – evening gown with boa
Criticized for untrue representation of Indian
And for evolution from Indian to European in performance
She is reflecting something about aboriginal nationality, that it is an adaptable culture
Manifests cultural hybridity: Homi Bhabha, The Location of Culture 1994
A cultural identity that is dynamic, interstitial, and synthetic, not fixed or discrete, and that
draws on multiple traditions
Euro-Canadians – hybrid vocabulary, play lacrosse, kayak etc.
Negotiates her hybridity – 4 choices as ethnicity: white, black, red or yellow
A cry from an Indian Wife
The dramatic monologue and rhetoric
Single speaker, addressing someone who is implied, dramatic situation
Eliciting sympathy, putting the reader in the shoes of the Indian loved one who is going off to
fight – radical and clever thing to do – they become their own enemies
Metis Louis Riel and Cree vs. Palefaces, writes this during the time
Writes this for an unsympathetic crowd of Ontario citizens
What strategies it uses to gain support for aboriginals?”
flattery of the white warriors, deference
direct parallel: putting the two on the even playing field
role reversal, if someone came to your home and took your culture
willing to see good intentionsstill their new rule and council is well meant
Indian woman has heroic but also traditional European verse form
3 different moments of asking the audience to sympathize
Indian wife, rhetorical questions being asked
Indian wife imagines what it is like for white females to send sons and lovers off to battle
What parts of the poem are undermining the sympathy?
Her religion over her Europeans – last line
Double edged argument: asking readers to identify with others
Justice: one hand there is assertion to right of the land, first come first serve—it would have
effected things before now – Europeans dont believe in this argument
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