12
Dec
09

Archibald Lampman ~ Canadian Poet

Socialist and a Critic of Party Politics

Archibald Lampman was born on November17, 1861, at Morpeth, Ont.—and died on February 10, 1899, Ottawa, important Canadian poet of the Confederation group, whose most characteristic works scenes and incidents of the outdoors.

Educated at Trinity College in the University of Toronto, he lived in Ottawa, employed in the post office department of the Canadian civil service, from 1883 until his death.  He collaborated with two other Ottawa poets in the writing of a weekly column, “At the Mermaid Inn,” in the Toronto Globe (1892-93).            .

Lampman was repelled by the mechanization of urban life and escaped to the countryside whenever possible.  Influenced by the craftsmanship and perfection of form of classical poetry and by the lyrical verse of such English Romantic poets as Wordsworth, Shelley, Tennyson, and Keats, he wrote nature poems celebrating the beauties of Ottawa and its environs and the Gatineau countryside of Quebec.

Among his fine nature poems are “Morning on the Lievre,” “Heat,” and “In November.”  Of the many sonnets that Lampman wrote, a number are admirable—e.g., “Winter Evening,” “A January Morning,” “Evening,” “Solitude,” and “The Frog.”  Although Lampman was a Socialist and a critic of party politics and organized religion, only a few short poems reflect his radical ideas on politics and economics.

During his lifetime Lampman published two volumes of verse,  Among the Millet and Other Poems (1888) and Lyrics of Earth (1893). After his death, his friend and literary executor, Duncan Campbell Scott, edited The Poems of Archibald Lampman (1900) and Lyrics of EarthPoems and Ballads (1925).  Several uncollected poems were published in 1943.

 


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