Johnston, George Benson

George Benson Johnston, poet, translator (b at Hamilton, Ont 7 Oct 1913; d at Hinchinbrook, Que, August 2004). Johnston is best known for lyric poetry that delineates with good-humoured wisdom the pleasures and pains of suburban family life. After serving as an RCAF pilot in WWII and studying at the University of Toronto, Johnston joined the department of English at Carleton, where he taught until retirement in 1979.

He is the author of The Cruising Auk (1959), Home Free (1966), Happy Enough: Poems 1935-72 (1972), Taking a Grip: Poems, 1971-78 (1978), Auk Redivivus: Selected Poems (1981), Rocky Shores (1981), Ask Again (poems, 1984) and Endeared by Dark (The Collected Poems) (1990).

His translations of poetry from Old Norse include The Saga of Gisli the Outlaw (1963), The Faroe Islanders' Saga (1975), The Greenlanders' Saga (1976) and Wind over Romsdale: Poems by Knut Odegard (1982). Johnston has also translated Pastor Bodvar's Letter, by O.J. Sigurdsson (1985). Johnston has edited the Collected Poems of George Whalley (1986) and written a biography of Carl Schaefer, Carl: Portrait of a Painter (1986), a work based partly on his correspondence with Schaefer over many years.