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 verified and new poets can scan and current their most up-to-date paintings, and it is usually with the little magazines, consequently, that litearary switch and oringiality have their beginnings. during this e-book Joan McCullagh indicates how, among 1941 and 1952, the journal charted the institution of modernism in Canadian poetry via publishing, even sooner than 1947, the most important, so much amazing, and such a lot consultant selection of early forties’ poetry within the kingdom. Her vast citation from the hitherto unbpublished correspondence among Crawley and approximately each significant poet of the 40s additionally exhibits how vital and valued a literary effect Crawley himself was once as a critic and consultant behind the curtain.
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Extra info for Alan Crawley and contemporary verse
In "Night Scene" in the March 1943 issue of Contemporary Verse, he is too prosaic: Somewhere I hear the notes of a piano And into my head drift the words of a poem Which a while ago I was reading. (7:11) and in "Morning," from the same issue, he lapses into affectation: Sun-dance on a banister, Pea-shooter sun on roof, Pop-corns exploding at street corners Sun-sliding, sun, dazzle-proof. (7:11) Two years later in "Midsummer, Adirondacks" (14:11) Dudek still shows the influence of Dylan Thomas, but by 1947, when nine of his poems appeared in the winter issue of Contemporary Verse, Dudek's language is both natural and effective.
I consider number four the best by far of all the issues," Crawley wrote to the founding committee, "and so hope to think of each succeeding number. There's a goal my lad to strive for" (FMcL, Oct. 1942). With Contemporary Verse less than a year old, Alan Crawley was already embarked on the mammoth correspondence that became as important to poets in the forties as the magazine itself. Instead of rejection slips—"I thought that with this new magazine having no established standard or reputation a formal letter such as used by most editors seemed too formal and a bit swanky" (FMcL, nd)—Crawley decided to comment on manuscripts he returned, giving his reasons for rejecting the poem or making suggestions for revision.
Such a cavil but when I am so dependent on my ear for all the poetry I get a harsh unpleasant line does irritate. (UT, nd) 3 Reviewing Now is Time in 1946, Crawley again discussed the sound in Birney's poems. "There is a new power in Mr. Birney's writing. The late poems show this in the smoothness of line from which grit of hard unusual words have been cast out and in the strong noun unpropped by adjective" (17:18). 22 Contemporary Verse "Reading the poems obviously written within the last twenty years I am struck by their vitality and strength, " Crawley wrote referring to the poetry in Gustafson's Anthology of Canadian Poetry (5:16).
Alan Crawley and contemporary verse by J. McCullagh