While this is posted on the Internet Archive, I thought I’d share it with you anyhow. It seems to be both a call for tolerance of immigrants to Canada in the late 1800s as well as a lament that Canadian youth are finding it necessary to seek better lives elsewhere. Despite the conflicted tone, it speaks to the ongoing creation of diaspora that is apropos to our world even—or even more—today.
Jackson, Isa Grindlay. “Christmas Giving.” Glengarry News (Alexandria, ON) (22 December 1933) 3.
Maude Abbott is a fascinating woman. Born Maude Elizabeth Seymour Babin in 1869, she was raised almost from birth by her maternal grandmother, who legally adopted her: hence the name change. She never married, but became well-known in the medical sciences for her intelligence and dedication.
A number of biographies have been written about Maude Abbott, who became Curator of McGill University’s Medical Museum in the 1890s and was herself a significant author in the medical sciences. What is less well-known is that she also self-published a short gift-book of poetry for Christmas 1929. It is posted here for you all to enjoy.
Lynn, Mabel. “The Exile’s Death.” The Harp 1.1 (May 1874): 23.
We know nothing at all about Mable Lynn; she may not even be Canadian, especially as the subject matter of her poem suggests a familiarity with the life of the British subject in India. It is possible, though, that she lived in Montreal, where The Harp was published for its short run from 1874 through 1882.
Barlett, Selma Gay. “Song of Vacation.” Toronto Globe and Mail (18 September 1937).
Selma Gay Bartlett—about whom we know very little—won the Poetry Prize in the Nancy Durham Contest in the Toronto Globe and Mail in September 1937, with this poem. She also published in the Canadian Poetry Magazine in the autumn of 1946, where we are informed that as an adult she lived in Ottawa. That is all we know.
I found this poem on a post on the Toronto Old News blog that talks about the Circle of Young Canada column in the Toronto Globe. The column continued into the first year after the merger of the Globe with the Mail & Empire to become the Toronto Globe and Mail, but the last column the author of the blog post found was in June of 1937. The complete blog post can be found here.