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Alan Crawley and contemporary verse by J. McCullagh

By J. McCullagh

Little magazines like Alan Crawley’s modern Verse are the lifestyles blood of literary tradition. they supply an ongoing discussion board within which either good tested and new poets can test and current their most recent paintings, and it is usually with the little magazines, for this reason, that litearary switch and oringiality have their beginnings. during this booklet Joan McCullagh indicates how, among 1941 and 1952, the journal charted the institution of modernism in Canadian poetry via publishing, even prior to 1947, the biggest, such a lot notable, and such a lot consultant number of early forties’ poetry within the state. Her wide citation from the hitherto unbpublished correspondence among Crawley and approximately each significant poet of the 40s additionally exhibits how very important and valued a literary impact Crawley himself used to be as a critic and consultant backstage.

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The three in Victoria are a bit wavery about taking MSS from outside Canada and left it pretty much to my editorial judgement. A. A. " 9 The immediate problem facing Crawley was finding good copy for the first issue of Contemporary Verse. " If the magazine were to have any real value, high standards must be set and maintained. Crawley discussed this with Floris McLaren in a later letter: I do truly feel that after so many years of study and trying to understand I know something about writing and poetry in particular and that I have something to offer in my line of appreciation and criticism and I do not want to let that go or to release any of my standards and that if C.

No poem is flat or bad, and all show considerable literary experience," he wrote. BEGINNINGS 7 Leo Kennedy's poem was "graceful" though facile, Smith's was "sharply conceived" though "somewhat metallic in sound," Birney's was "arrestingly beautiful," and Floris McLaren's "poignant even if too heavily accented. . If you buy this little pamphlet, you will get wit. . satire. . music. . imagination . " 12 And a generous, though defensive, welcome came from EJ. Pratt in Canadian Poetry Magazine: We welcome the appearance of this little sheaf of verse which constitutes Vol.

UT, 1942) Too often Crawley had to use poetry which did not meet his standards in order to get an issue out, and throughout the course of the magazine he was forced to delay issues while he waited for good poetry to arrive. M. Stephen," he wrote to Floris McLaren while he was working on the third number, "unremarkable but two of them think I may use" (FMcL, March 1942). The established poets did not seem to have poetry to submit, or perhaps they were adopting a "wait and see" attitude to Contemporary Verse.

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