The Essential Tom Marshall

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The Porcupine's Quill, 2012 - Poetry - 63 pages
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Number nine in our series of Essential Poets, this newly selected, essential collection of Tom Marshall's poetry, co-edited by his friends David Helwig and Michael Ondaatje, pushes Marshall to his rightful place in the Canadian canon. Tom Marshall lived in Kingston for most of his adult life. During his short lifetime he made a substantial contribution to Canadian literature and culture, with ten published collections of poetry, four of critical essays and seven of fiction.

In this selected volume the reader will find verse from his early years, daring and inventive, imbuing the familiar Kingston landscape with an electric intensity. One of his earliest poems, `Astrology', suggests Marshall's range of tones, the balance of humour and seriousness, and the way his poems remain lyrical even when he is writing of bitter love, self-abasement and brilliant restless nights. Also included is more reflective poetry from later in his life, probing and elegant, as he struggled with an ambiguous relationship to his parents. But through them all one hears Marshall's distinctive voice, his shrewd irony, his daring intensity, his preoccupation with mortality and the enduring power of myth.

 

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Contents

Foreword The Silences ofFire 1969
7
The park is more like a wood
11
Autobiographies
14
Astrology
15
Speedboat
16
Derangement
18
Notes from a London Diary
19
Words in Exile
21
The Return
30
Qualifications
31
Other Qualifications
32
Legend
33
Second Legend
34
The Friends
35
The Lamb
36
Approaching
39

Interior Monologue 666
24
Macdonald Park
25
Politics
26
from Islands
28
Strictly Personal
29
Christmas Travel Poems
40
from Summer of 77
41
Field Syllabics
42
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Tom Marshall was born in Niagara Falls, Ontario, in April, 1938. He studied English and History at Queen's University in the late 1950s, returning to the school after graduation to complete a master's degree on the poetry of A M Klein. With David Helwig, Marshall was at the centre of a group of writers active in Kingston, where he began teaching at Queen's in 1964. As a poet, he is known for four linked collections (published between 1969 and 1976) of philosophical, meditative verse. The S

Born in Toronto in 1938, David Helwig attended the University of Toronto and the University of Liverpool. His first stories were published in Canadian Forum and The Montrealer while he was still an undergraduate. He then went on to teach at Queen's University. He worked in summer stock with the Straw Hat Players, mostly as a business manager and technician, rubbing elbows with such actors as Gordon Pinsent, Jackie Burroughs and Timothy Findley. While at Queen's University, Helwig did some informal teaching in Collin's Bay Penitentiary and subsequently wrote A Book About Billie with a former inmate. Helwig has also served as literary manager of CBC Television Drama, working under John Hirsch, supervising the work of story editors and the department's relations with writers. In 1980, he gave up teaching and became a full-time freelance writer. He has done a wide range of writing - fiction, poetry, essays - authoring more than twenty books. Helwig is also the founder and long-time editor of the Best Canadian Stories annual. David Helwig lives on Prince Edward Island in the village of Eldon. He indulges his passion for vocal music by singing with choirs in Montreal, Kingston, and Charlottetown. He has appeared as bass soloist in Handel's Messiah, Bach's St Matthew Passion and Mozart's Requiem.

Michael Ondaatje was born in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) on September 12, 1943. He moved to Canada in 1962 and became a Canadian citizen. He received a B.A. from the University of Toronto and a M.A. from Queen's University, Kingston, and taught English at York University. He has written several volumes of poetry, novels, and other works including There's a Trick with a Knife I'm Learning to Do, The Dainty Monsters, Rat Jelly, Coming through Slaughter, Running in the Family, In the Skin of a Lion, Anil's Ghost, and The Cat's Table. Ondaatje has won numerous awards including the Canadian Governor General's Award in 1971 for The Collected Works of Billy the Kid and the Booker Prize in Fiction for The English Patient, which was adapted into a film in 1996.

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