Judge, May P. Poetic biographies. Vancouver Poetry Society, 1919-1946: A Book of Days. Toronto: Ryerson, 1946. 11-14.
This delightful little book contains a history of the Vancouver Poetry Society from its inception in 1919 to the book’s publication in 1946; a series of short biographies of the more prominent members, not in poetic form; and a collection of poetry by some of the members. The unidentified narrator, who weaves members’ tales together, tells us that the “story of [the Society’s] foundation can best be told in the words of May Perceval Judge, one of the charter members” (1). At a meeting of the Society in October of 1918, less than a year after the Society was founded, May Judge presented a series of short biographical poems about the other members. The first was of Dr. Ernest Fewster, not only a founding member but the original instigator of the Society’s formation:
A face of kindness.
Long shaggy hair, that fingers oft run through.
Brown eyes that hold the wonder of
Quick smile, which like the wind
Breaks through the clouds of contemplative thought
To spill aloud in laughter.
The second line was a cause of mirth, as Judge tells us: “After I had read the verse about him, there was a pause, and he asked pointedly, “Whose fingers?” “Yours, of course,” I said sharply, and then–everybody laughed” (11).
The rest of Judge’s poems follow here:
In response to these short poems, which appear to have found favour with their subjects, another member asked Miss Judge, “But what about one for you?” to which she replied, not surprisingly, that “someone else will have to write it” (14). She tells us that “less than half an hour afterwards, Bromley Coleman slipped a torn scrap of copy-paper into my hand. I made him read the lines aloud himself” (14):