In his review of 1954's Selected Poems of Bliss Carman, literary critic Northrop Frye compared Carman and the other Confederation Poets to the Group of Seven: "Like the later painters, these poets were lyrical in tone and romantic in attitude; like the painters, they sought for the most part uninhabited landscape." But Frye added: "The lyrical response to landscape is by itself, however, a kind of emotional photography, and like other forms of photography is occasional and epigrammatic.... Hence the lyric poet, after he has run his gamut of impressions, must die young, develop a more intellectualized attitude, or start repeating himself. Carman's meeting of this challenge was only partly successful."
It is true that Carman had begun to repeat himself after Sappho. "Much of Carman's writing in poetry and prose during the decade preceding World War I is as repetitive as the title of Echoes from Vagabondia (1912) intimates" says the DCB. What had made his poetry so remarkable at the beginning – that every new book was completely new – was gone.
However, Carman's career was by no means over. He "published four other collections of new poetry during his lifetime and two more were ready for publication at the time of his death: The Rough Rider, and Other Poems (1908), A Painter’s Holiday, and Other Poems (1911), April Airs (1916), Far Horizons (1925), Sanctuary (1929), and Wild Garden (1929). James Cappon’s comment on Far Horizons applies almost equally to the other five volumes: 'There is nothing new in its poetic quality which has the sweet sadness of age rehearsing old tunes with an art which is now very smooth though with less vivacity than it used to have.'"
Not only did Carman continue to write, but he continued to write fine poems: poems such as "The Old Grey Wall" (April Airs), the Wilfred Campbell-ish "Rivers of Canada" (Far Horizons), "The Ghost-yard of the Goldenrod" and "The Ships of Saint John" (Later Poems, 1926), and "The Winter Scene" (Sanctuary: The "Sunshine House" sonnets). The best of these have the same nostalgic air of melancholy and loss with which Carman began in "Low Tide...," but now even more poignant as the poet approached his own death.
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Famous quotes containing the word work:
“Erasmus was the light of his century; others were its strength: he lighted the way; others knew how to walk on it while he himself remained in the shadow as the source of light always does. But he who points the way into a new era is no less worthy of veneration than he who is the first to enter it; those who work invisibly have also accomplished a feat.”
—Stefan Zweig (18811942)
“Tis not need we know our every thought
Or see the work shop where each mask is wrought
Wherefrom we view the world of box and pit,
Careless of wear, just so the mask shall fit
And serve our japes turn for a night or two.”
—Ezra Pound (18851972)