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The New Wascana Anthology - Poetry, Short Fiction, and Critical Prose

The New Wascana Anthology

Poetry, Short Fiction, and Critical Prose

Paperback : 9780889773080, 554 pages, May 2014

Table of contents



Summer is icumen in
Sir Patrick Spens
Mary Hamilton

Geoffrey Chaucer (ca. 1343–1400)
from The Canterbury Tales
Excerpts from General Prologue

Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503–1542)
          The Long Love, That in My Thought Doth Harbour

Sir Walter Ralegh (ca. 1552–1618)
          The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd

Edmund Spenser (ca. 1552–1599)
from Amoretti
          30. My love is like to ice
          75. One day I wrote her name

Sir Philip Sidney (1554–1586)
from Astrophel and Stella
          59. Dear, why make you more of a dog than me?

Michael Drayton (1563–1631)
from Idea
          61. Since there’s no help, come let us kiss and part

Christopher Marlowe (1564–1593)
          The Passionate Shepherd to His Love
William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
from Sonnets
          18. Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
          20. A woman’s face, with nature’s own hand painted
          116. Let me not to the marriage of true minds
          130. My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun
from As You Like It
          All the world’s a stage
John Donne (1572–1631)
          A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
          Death be not proud
          The Bait
          The Flea

Ben Jonson (1572–1637)
          Epigram XXII: On My First Daughter
          Epigram XLV: On My First Son
          Song: To Celia

George Herbert (1593–1633)
          Love (III)
John Milton (1608–1674)
          When I Consider How My Light Is Spent
from Paradise Lost, Book 1
          The Invocation

Anne Bradstreet (1612–1672)
          Before the Birth of One of Her Children
          The Author to Her Book

Andrew Marvell (1621–1678)
          To His Coy Mistress
Anne Finch, Countess of Winchelsea (1661–1720)
          To the Nightingale
          A Letter to Daphnis, April 2, 1685

Alexander Pope (1688–1744)
          The Rape of the Lock

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689–1762)
          Addressed to—

Thomas Gray (1716–1771)
          Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard

Christopher Smart (1722–1771)
from Jubilate Agno
          My Cat Jeoffry
William Blake (1757–1827)
from Songs of Innocence
          The Chimney Sweeper
          The Lamb
from Songs of Experience
          A Poison Tree
          The Chimney Sweeper

William Wordsworth (1770–1850)
          A slumber did my spirit seal
          Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802
          I wandered lonely as a cloud
          The world is too much with us

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834)
          Kubla Khan
George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788–1824)
          She Walks in Beauty
          The Destruction of Sennacherib

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)

John Keats (1795–1821)
          La Belle Dame Sans Merci
          When I have fears that I may cease to be

Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892)
Robert Browning (1812–1889)
          Porphyria’s Lover
          My Last Duchess
Emily Brontë (1818–1848)

Walt Whitman (1819–1892)
          When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d
Matthew Arnold (1822–1888)
          Dover Beach

George Meredith (1828–1909)
from Modern Love
          17. At dinner, she is hostess, I am host

Emily Dickinson (1830–1866)
          F479. Because I could not stop for Death
          F591. I heard a Fly buzz—when I died
          F620. Much Madness is divinest Sense
          F1096. A narrow Fellow in the Grass
          F1263. Tell all the Truth but tell it slant

Lewis Carroll (1832–1898)

Thomas Hardy (1840–1928)
          The Ruined Maid
          The Convergence of the Twain
          The Workbox

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–1889)
          God’s Grandeur
          Pied Beauty
          The Windhover

A. E. Housman (1859–1936)
from A Shropshire Lad
          XIX. To An Athlete Dying Young

Sir Charles G. D. Roberts (1860–1943)
          Tantramar Revisited

Archibald Lampman (1861–1899)

William Butler Yeats (1865–1939)
          The Second Coming
          Leda and the Swan
          Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop

Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869–1935)
          Miniver Cheevy

Robert Frost (1874–1963)
          After Apple-Picking
          Mending Wall
          Nothing Gold Can Stay
          The Silken Tent

William Carlos Williams (1883–1963)
          The Red Wheelbarrow
          This is Just to Say
          Pictures from Brueghel

D. H. Lawrence (1885–1930)

Ezra Pound (1885–1972)
          In a Station of the Metro
          The River Merchant’s Wife: A Letter

Isaac Rosenberg (1890–1918)
          Break of Day in the Trenches

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892–1950)
          Elegy before Death
          What lips my lips have kissed

Wilfred Owen (1893–1918)
          Dulce et Decorum Est

e.e. cummings (1894–1963)
          “next to of course god america i
          anyone lived in a pretty how town

F. R. Scott (1899–1985)
Langston Hughes (1902–1967)
          The Negro Speaks of Rivers

A. J. M. Smith (1902–1980)
          The Lonely Land
          Far West

Stevie Smith (1902–1971)
          Not Waving but Drowning

Earle Birney (1904–1995)
          Anglo-Saxon Street

W. H. Auden (1907–1973)
          Musée des Beaux-Arts

Theodore Roethke (1908–1963)
          My Papa’s Waltz

A. M. Klein (1909–1972)
          The Rocking Chair

Dorothy Livesay (1909–1996)
          Green Rain

Elizabeth Bishop (1911–1979)
          In the Waiting Room

Irving Layton (1912–2006)
          The Birth of Tragedy

Dylan Thomas (1914–1953)
          Fern Hill
          Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night

P. K. Page (1916–2010)
          After Rain
          Planet Earth
Robert Lowell (1917–1977)
          For the Union Dead

Miriam Waddington (1917–2004)
          Advice to the Young

Raymond Souster (1921–2012)
          The Lilac Poem
Elizabeth Brewster (1922–2012)
          The Night Grandma Died

Eli Mandel (1922–1992)

Anne Szumigalski (1926–1999)
          It Wasn’t a Major Operation

Don Coles (b. 1927)
          Collecting Pictures
Robert Kroetsch (1927–2011)
          Meditation on Tom Thomson

Rita Joe (1932–2007)
          Axe Handles for Sale
          I Lost My Talk

Sylvia Plath (1932–1963)

Alden Nowlan (1933–1983)
          The Bull Moose

Leonard Cohen (b. 1934)
          A Kite Is a Victim

Robert Currie (b. 1937)
          Young Boy, Fleeing

Glen Sorestad (b. 1937)
          Ten Years
          Now That I’m Up

John Newlove (1938–2003)
          The Double-Headed Snake

Margaret Atwood (b. 1939)
          Backdrop Addresses Cowboy
          The Nature of Gothic
          This Is a Photograph of Me

Seamus Heaney (1939–2013)
          Bog Queen
          The Names of the Hare

Patrick Lane (b. 1939)
          Mountain Oysters

Gary Hyland (1940–2011)
from Arguments in the Garden of Prayer
          1. So many frogs
          14. The first sounds

Beth Brant (b. 1941)
          for all my Grandmothers

Robert Hass (b. 1941)

Gwendolyn MacEwen (1941–1987)
          Manzini: Escape Artist

Marie Annharte Baker (b. 1942)
          Pretty Tough Skin Woman

Louise Glück (b. 1943)

Michael Ondaatje (b. 1943)
          The Cinnamon Peeler
          White Dwarfs

Dennis Cooley (b. 1944)
          how there in the plaid light she played with his affections plied them spikes from his heart she stood by pliers in hand he has his pride

Craig Raine (b. 1944)
          A Martian Sends a Postcard Home

Tom Wayman (b. 1945)
          Did I Miss Anything?
Linda Hogan (b. 1947)
          Cities Behind Glass

Lorna Crozier (b. 1948)
          The Dirty Thirties
          Poem about Nothing
from The Sex Lives of Vegetables

Beth Cuthand (b. 1949)
          Four Songs for the Fifth Generation

Kathleen Wall (b. 1950)
          Morning Nocturne

Joy Harjo (b. 1951)
          She Had Some Horses

Gerald Hill (b. 1951)
          Becoming and Going: An Oldsmobile Story

Di Brandt (b. 1952)
          completely seduced

Louise Halfe (b. 1953)
          She Told Me

Louise Erdrich (b. 1954)
          Dear John Wayne
          Indian Boarding School: The Runaways

Jeanette Lynes (b. 1956)
          The Last Interview with Bettie Page

Anne Simpson (b. 1956)
          Grammar Exercise

George Elliott Clarke (b. 1960)
          Blank Sonnet

Michael Crummey (b. 1965)
          Her Mark

Gregory Scofield (b. 1966)
          His Flute, My Ears

Karen Solie (b. 1966)

Randy Lundy (b. 1967)
          Ghost Dance

Stephanie Bolster (b. 1969)
          To Dolly

Carmine Starnino (b. 1970)
          Pepino’s Poem, “Growing Up in Naples”
          Rope Husbandry

Daniel Scott Tysdal (b. 1978)

Cassidy McFadzean (b. 1989)
          I smile earwide

Short Fiction

Sherman Alexie (b. 1966)
          The Approximate Size of My Favourite Tumour

Margaret Atwood (b. 1939)
          My Last Duchess

Sandra Birdsell (b. 1942)

Raymond Carver (1938–1988)

William Faulkner (1897–1962)
          A Rose for Emily

Richard Ford (b. 1944)

Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860–1935)
          The Yellow Wall-paper

James Joyce (1882–1941)

Thomas King (b. 1943)
          A Seat in the Garden

Ursula K. Le Guin (b. 1929)
          The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Alexander MacLeod (b. 1972)
          Miracle Mile

Alistair MacLeod (1936-2014)
          The Boat

Katherine Mansfield (1888–1923)
          The Garden-Party

Yann Martel (b. 1963)
          The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios

Rohinton Mistry (b. 1952)
          Swimming Lessons

Ken Mitchell (b. 1940)
          The Great Electrical Revolution

Alice Munro (b. 1931)
          The Bear Came over the Mountain

Flannery O’Connor (1925–1964)
          A Good Man Is Hard to Find

Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849)
          The Cask of Amontillado

Eden Robinson (b. 1968)

Gloria Sawai (1932–2011)
          The Day I Sat with Jesus on the Sundeck and a Wind Came Up and Blew My Kimono Open and He Saw My Breasts

Guy Vanderhaeghe (b. 1951)
          Dancing Bear

Dianne Warren (b. 1950)
          Bone Garden

Critical Prose

Stephen Jay Gould (1941–2002)
          Evolution as Fact and Theory

Trevor Herriot (b. 1958)
from Grass, Sky, Song: Promise and Peril in the World of Grassland Birds
          A Way Home

Barbara Kingsolver (b. 1955)
          Setting Free the Crabs

Don McKay (b. 1942)
          Baler Twine: Thoughts on Ravens, Home, and Nature Poetry

Jonathan Swift (1667–1745)
          A Modest Proposal

Copyright Notices

Index of Authors and Titles

Index of First Lines of Poetry


The New Wascana Anthology is named for the Cree word "oskana," meaning "bones,"* but this anthology is no literary graveyard. It will introduce you to stories, poems, and essays that can be discussed over drinks, or used to impress friends years after leaving English 100 behind.

Offering a taster's choice of the best Canadian writing, with a special focus on Aboriginal and Prairie writers, this anthology includes pieces selected to introduce you to the English literary canon. Going back hundreds of years, the oldest poems included here have no known author, while the youngest writer is a recent university graduate.

Building on the bones of the canon (including all of Canada's Man Booker Prize-winners and newest Nobel Laureate), The New Wascana Anthology features writers such as Flannery O'Connor, Thomas King, Carmine Starnino, and Ursula K. Le Guin who will challenge your worldview. Most importantly, this anthology is about turning the page, opening your mind, and revelling in the pleasures of reading.

*The bones referred to are the bones of plains bison, a species that once numbered in the tens of millions on the Great Plains.