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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 confirmed and new poets can test and current their most recent paintings, and it is usually with the little magazines, as a result, that litearary switch and oringiality have their beginnings. during this booklet Joan McCullagh exhibits how, among 1941 and 1952, the journal charted the institution of modernism in Canadian poetry via publishing, even sooner than 1947, the biggest, such a lot outstanding, and so much consultant number of early forties’ poetry within the nation. Her broad citation from the hitherto unbpublished correspondence among Crawley and approximately each significant poet of the 40s additionally indicates how very important and valued a literary impact Crawley himself was once as a critic and consultant backstage.

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Earle Birney's war poems were the best of this genre to appear in Contemporary Verse (and in Canada). Poems such as "Hands," "War Winter," "Nocturne," "Letter Home," "Within These Concerned Days," and "Time Bomb" have authenticity, immediacy, and universality. Birney never adopted a patriotic stance; he wrote as a humanitarian anguished at the suffering man was inflicting upon man, even more anguished at the knowledge that something in man himself had caused this incredible holocaust: "Within the statesman's ribs,/Within my own, the timebombstick" (15:7).

In his broadcasts he combined his brief criticisms with a reading of a selection of the poet's work. M. Klein in 1947, Klein wrote to thank him, saying "It was most gratifying for me to know that the poems which you were reading were being heard across Canada," and adding: I think too that you are to be congratulated upon the very impressive delivery which you gave to these verses, and I particularly was touched by the poems that you chose. Concluding your reading with "Jerusalem Next Year, Next Year Jerusalem" was to my mind a particularly effective gesture.

1941). Still, Crawley was hopeful of finding good material, and he was not limiting his search to established poets. He confided to Birney in April 1942: "I am on the track of some work from really unknown writers and am hopeful of a find" (UT). Birney himself seemed more confident of the calibre of Contemporary Verse after the third number and submitted two poems for the next issue ("Nocturne" and "War Winter"), and three came from James Wreford. The outlook for number four improved, but the future of the magazine was uncertain.

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