Early issues of the Canadian Geographical Journal (which in 1978 became simply Canadian Geographic) included some biographical information about the contributors. As you can imagine, this is of great interest to our project, even moreso when the biographies (volumes 1.2 through 6.4) include photos. Most of the female authors in the Canadian Geographical Journal will not have full-length entries in our project—in some cases this is the only publication we know of—but that doesn’t stop me wanting to share their photos and biographies.
The annual Great Grandview Garage Sale near my home truly was great this year. Poking about, I glimpsed a familiar title on the top of another shopper’s pile. My gasp of recognition caused him to look up, and when I explained that the book was one of our authors’ publication, he relented and let me buy it. For a whopping $2.
It was in fact a first edition of Eloise Street’s collection of poems, translated from songs told to her and her mother, Sophia Street, by Chief K’HHalserten Sepass of the Tsilli-Way-ukh in what is now Chilliwack, BC.
Published in 1963, the book is not yet out of copyright, but I can share with you a small portion. The front matter is particularly fascinating, telling as it does the story of the Tsilli-Way-ukh people, including their interactions with the British missionaries who settled in the area and the mother and daughter team—Sophia White and Eloise White Street—who Chief Sepass solicited to record his people’s songs.
This hand-written poem was sent to us by Simon Pole, Susie Drury’s great-great-grandson. The poem is part of the manuscript of Drury’s Maple Leaves still in the family’s possession; “The New Jerusalem,” however, does not appear in the published version, so this might in fact be its first site of publication.
I have transcribed the text, as far as I can decipher; please write a comment if you have better luck with the two missing words!
There is a city wondrous bright
Beyond the Jordan deep,
Where morn is ne’er eclipsed by night,
Where mourners never weep.
And none may through those portals glide
Nor by those fountains play
[Save?] they who’ve cast the world aside
And heaven’s commands obey.
This is the spot where tears no more
Shall dim the happy eye;
This is the bright [?] shore,
Where none shall say goodbye.
Susie Drury, poet:
Davis, Graeme. “Les Mouches Fantastiques: An Essay in Review.” The Lingerer: A Bibelot of Amateur Belle Lettres 10.4 (1919):16-32.
While in Toronto recently, I had lunch with an old friend, Jeffrey Canton, who is co-author (with Marcus Peterson) of a dramatic dialogue about the founders of the early Canadian Queer journal Les Mouches Fantastiques, published in Montreal around 1918. (As an aside: their dramatic dialogue, Coal from Hades, will be part of the Hamilton Fringe Festival, 21-29 July 2017.) One of these founders was Elsie Gidlow, who also wrote the first openly lesbian book of poetry published in North America, On a Grey Thread (1923). Her entry had a note that she contributed to an obscure journal entitled The Lingerer, and in searching for its location, I can across this 1919, rather glowing review of Les Mouches Fantastiques, which I would like to share with you all.
In going through the Canadian Library Association bio-bibliographic files we have recently rediscovered, I found a reference to a book of poetry by Christina Lighthall Henderson that we do not have in any of our records for her. In her survey responses from 1950, she lists The Mountain Cross and Other Poems (1947) as her most recent work, but we cannot find any other reference to it.
This poem, though, was hiding on my hard drive, so I will share it with you now.
Henderson, Christina L. “Chimney Stacks.” Crucible (Autumn 1936): 10.
Machan, Elmar [Elma]. “The Lost Tribes of America.” Forest & Outdoors (February 1942): 56+.
At a conference in Toronto this week, I found at textbook at the University of Regina Press booth, Beginning Cree by Solomon Ratt, and bought it for a good friend of mine, who is Métis. In her case, Métis incorporates Scottish and Cree ancestry, not French and Cree. It was interesting, then, to find this story in the set of scans that Elma Machan’s daughter Vivian Moreau, has recently sent to us.
(A higher resolution image is available upon request.)