The poems of a Canadian modernist best known for his investigations into poetic process.
An eminent Canadian man of letters, scholar, naval officer and secret intelligence agent, CBC scriptwriter, musician, biographer, and translator, George Whalley (1915-1983) was also a gifted poet whose work spans five decades. Along with his major critical work, Poetic Process, and his superb biography, The Legend of John Hornby, Whalley’s poetry is an important contribution to the emergence and development of twentieth-century modernism.
The Complete Poems of George Whalley is the first collection of Whalley’s entire poetic oeuvre. It contains the previously published work from his two books of poetry, Poems 1939-1944 and No Man An Island, as well as pieces that appeared in periodicals and edited collections. It gathers all his unpublished poems found in public archives and his personal papers, letters, and journals. This collection reinforces Whalley’s place as the foremost Canadian poet of the Second World War, during and immediately after which the majority of these works were written. It also emphasizes the humour and playfulness of his early and late poems. Michael DiSanto’s introduction provides an overview of Whalley’s life and career, and examines the relationship between his poetics and criticism by consulting his essays, letters, and unpublished papers.
Restoring Whalley’s poetry and literary contributions to their rightful place in the Canadian canon, this comprehensive collection opens new chapters on mid-twentieth-century modernism and war poetry.