The Essential Earle Birney

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The Porcupine's Quill, Apr 17, 2014 - Poetry - 64 pages
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Over the course of a career spanning five decades, Canadian poet, novelist and playwright Earle Birney produced some of Canada’s best-known poems. The Essential Earle Birney contains a selection of his pivotal works, including early break-out successes; nuanced, mid-career lyrics; avant-garde experiments; and beautiful, deceptively simple love poetry. From ‘David’ to ‘Bushed’ to ‘Anglo-Saxon Street’, this indispensable collection reaffirms Birney’s position as a key figure in modern Canadian poetry.

The Essential Poets Series presents the works of Canada’s most celebrated poets in a package that is beautiful, accessible, and affordable. The Essential Earle Birney is the 10th volume in the series.

 

 

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Contents

Foreword 19401951
7
David
11
Vancouver lights
18
Anglosaxon street
20
The road to Nijmegen
22
Mappemounde
24
case history 1945
25
From the hazel bough
26
Ellesmereland 32 Ellesmereland II
32
Twentythird flight
33
A walk in Kyoto
34
The bear on the Delhi road
36
Espolio
38
Caribbean kingdoms
40
Cartagena de Indias 1962
41
Epidaurus
47

Ulysses
27
Can
28
Takkakaw Falls
29
Bushed
31
Canada Council
49
Museum of
50
Copyright

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About the author (2014)

Earle Birney was a poet, novelist, and playwright whose experimental instincts drove him to create some of Canada’s most diverse and recognizable poetry, including the oft-anthologized ‘Anglosaxon Street’, and ‘David’, which is often considered the most popular Canadian poem of all time. Born in Calgary, Alberta, Birney was raised on a farm before embarking on an academic career, attending the University of British Columbia, the University of Toronto, the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of London, where his interest in Old and Middle English led to a reputation as an accomplished scholar of medieval literature. After serving as a personnel officer in WWII, Birney took a professorship at the University of British Columbia, where he spent twenty years travelling, writing, and teaching. In 1965, Birney became the first Writer in Residence at the University of Toronto, mentoring new, up-and-coming poets and branching out into new and experimental forms.

Birney died in Toronto in 1995 after an impressive career spanning several decades, over twenty books of poetry, two Governor General’s Awards, and several plays, novels, short stories, and works of non-fiction.

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