Canadian poetry, in the most general of terms, is an archive of Canada’s history and cultural development. However, due to colonial reform in the 19th century, the representation of Canada varies in the works of our poets. Some have attempted to describe and interpret what was considered to be distinctly Canadian in order to accept their colonial environment, while another group made a heroic effort to transcend colonialism by establishing civilized, cultural ideas.
In 1942, A.J.M. Smith analyzed the works of 19th century Canadian poets, providing insight into some famous works of Canadian literature. “‘Our Poets’ A Sketch of Canadian Poetry in the 19th Century” from the University of Toronto Quarterly highlights the works of poets such as Isabella Valancy Crawford, Bliss Carman, and Charles G.D. Roberts. Each poet maintains their own perception of Canada, whether describing the peace that the country’s beautiful landscape instills in its inhabitants or the positive effect colonialism is having on the country’s development. A.J.M Smith’s article provides a multi-faceted mosaic of Canada’s poetry.