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.

Grand Fir by George Bowering

This poem takes a historical approach to the nation by focusing on one of the author’s forebears, and his religious mission. However, it also foregrounds geography, as place names are crucial to understanding the poem. How is this man made to seem both larger and smaller than life?

Still Life with Apple by Shane Rhodes

The poem’s title refers to a particular kind of painting, but Rhodes is building up a broader landscape with the apple as its centre. How does he connect the apple and the landscape?

Corn Road by J. D. Carpenter

Here, farmers’ children are seen as closer to [t]hings on the farm than the landowners who narrate the poem. How is this relationship made convincing?

Works Cited

  • Bowering, George. Grand Fir. Canadian Literature 170–71 (2001): 17–18. Print.
  • Carpenter, J.D. Corn Road. Canadian Literature 130 (1991): 105. Print.
  • Rhodes, Shane. Still Life With Apple. Canadian Literature 174 (2002): 96–97. Print.