Reading Prompts

The following contemporary poems, published recently in Canadian Literature, reflect upon events, topics, and issues related to this chapter.

If one of the poems appeals to you, and you would like to read it more closely or write a paper about it, here are some suggestions:

  • Have a look at the Close Reading Poetry chapter.
  • Return to the poem and work through it line by line in the ways modelled by the sample readings.
  • Ask yourself why the poem was selected for this unit—the answer will help you focus your close reading.

Grey by John Barton

In this poem Barton appears to look at nature or a natural object the way a painter would. Who is Harris, and why is it a good idea to find totems of your own?

Trusting the Song by Erín Moure

The poem sets up a trajectory from the coal mines of Britain to a dead engineer in Canada, two centuries later. What did all of these people trust that is, at the end, derailed? How does the idea of a rail line express the nature of this trust?

Works Cited

  • Barton, John. Grey. Canadian Literature 96 (1983): 70–71. Print.
  • Moure, Erín. Trusting the Song. Canadian Literature 66 (1975): 89–90. Print.