Selections from Canadian Poets
Selections from Canadian Poets: With Occasional Critical and Biographical Notes, and an Introductory Essay on Canadian Poetry. Edited by E.H. Dewart, a clergyman of St Johns, Canada East, and printed by John Lovell of Montréal in 1864, this landmark collection of early Canadian verse is noted not only as "the first and last general anthology compiled before Confederation," but is also significant for its use of the term Canadian as applied to English-language verse written in Canada. The collection is representative of the poetic styles and interests of colonial writers. Dewart's introduction is a sound piece of pioneer criticism which complements the eclectic range of his selection, comprising 172 poems. It is to the credit of Dewart's taste and perspicacity as an anthologist that those poets whom he singled out for special comment have stood the test of time. Descriptive, thoughtful and displaying considerable skill, the verse in this key anthology is an important measure of Canada's literary beginnings.