We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

Print Price: $109.99

520 pp.
70 photos (B&W), 6" x 9"


Copyright Year:

Imprint: OUP Canada

70 Canadian Poets

Fifth Edition

Edited by Gary Geddes

Introducing students to the depth, breadth, and character of Canadian poetry for over 40 years, this collection of classic and contemporary poems offers a rich representation of this country's diverse poetic landscape. Featuring a combination of established and up-and-coming poets, this edition introduces students to a wide range of engaging voices from across the country.

Readership : This volume serves Canadian poetry and Canadian literature courses taught out of university English departments nationwide, generally at the third- and fourth-year levels (though some courses are available to second-year students).


  • "It manages to include all the most important modernist, 'formational' poets while also offering a generous selection of contemporary poets."
    -Robert G. May, Queen's University

  • "Geddes has done an admirable job of selecting poems that are representative of innovation, intent, and oeuvre. That the anthology has changed over time reflects the organic nature of a vibrant canon."
    -Tony Tremblay, St Thomas University

E.J. Pratt
The Shark
The Man and the Machine
from The Titanic
Dorothy Livesay
from Call My People Home
- First Fisherman
The Unquiet Bed
Bartoek and the Geranium
Without Benefit of Tape
Ralph Gustafson
"S.S.R., Lost at Sea." The Times
Now at the Ocean's Verge
The Newspaper
Wednesday at North Hatley
In the Yukon
Ramble on What in the World Why
The Arrival of Wisdom
State of Affairs
A.M. Klein
For the Sisters of the Hotel Dieu
Portrait of the Poet as Landscape
Earle Birney
From the Hazel Bough
A Walk in Kyoto
The Bear on the Delhi Road
A.J.M. Smith
Like an Old Proud King in a Parable
A Hyacinth for Edith
The Lonely Land
The Plot Against Proteus
News of the Phoenix
Prothalamium The Wisdom of Old Jelly Roll
Al Purdy
Home-Made Beer
The Country North of Belleville
The Cariboo Horses
Wilderness Gothic
Arctic Rhododendrons
Lament for the Dorsets
F.R. Scott
Laurentian Shield
Saturday Sundae
Bonne Entente
For Bryan Priestman
Irving Layton
Look, the Lambs Are All Around Us!
The Cold Green Element
Whatever Else Poetry Is Freedom
The Fertile Muck
Berry Picking
Keine Lazarovitch 1870-1959
P.K. Page
The Stenographers
Stories of Snow
Photos of a Salt Mine
After Rain
Planet Earth
Raymond Souster
Young Girls
Lagoon, Hanlan's Point
Downtown Corner News Stand
Study: The Bath
All This Slow Afternoon
The Six-Quart Basket
Phyllis Webb
Love Story
Poetics Against the Angel of Death
Eschatology of Spring
Prison Report
Treblinka Gas Chamber
Peacock Blue: An Anti-ghazal
Cornflowers & Saffron Robes Belittle the Effort
Leonard Cohen
You Have the Lovers
As the Mist Leaves No Scar
Now of Sleeping
The Genius
The Music Crept By Us
D.G. Jones
Beautiful Creatures Brief as These
For Françoise Adnet
These Trees Are No Forest of Mourners
The Stream Exposed With All Its Stones
Words from the Aviary
Alden Nowlan
Warren Pryor
And He Wept Aloud, So That the Egyptians Heard It
The Mysterious Naked Man
For Claudine Because I Love Her
Ypres: 1915
Eli Mandel
Thief Hanging in Baptist Halls
Pictures in an Institution
On the 25th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz
Milton Acorn
Offshore Breeze
Charlottetown Harbour
The Island
Knowing I Live in a Dark Age
The Natural History of Elephants
I've Tasted My Blood
Margaret Avison
To Professor X, Year Y
The Swimmer's Moment
Voluptuaries and Others
Black-White Under Green: May 18, 1965
In A Season of Unemployment
Gwendolyn MacEwen
Manzini: Escape Artist
Poem Improvised Around a First Line
Memoirs of a Mad Cook
The Child Dancing
from the T.E. Lawrence Poems
- Apologies
- Nitroglycerine Tulips
- Deraa
- Ghazala's Foal
- Tall Tales
- Notes from the Dead Land
John Newlove
Then, If I Cease Desiring
Crazy Riel
Verigin, Moving in Alone
Ride Off Any Horizon
Such Fun, Such Fun
Robin Blaser
Winter words
Dreams, April, 1981
The Iceberg
Home for Boys and Girls
For Barry Clinton, d. 17 June, 1984, of AIDS
Praise to Them, December 30, 1984
Of the Land of Culture
George Bowering
Bones Along Her Body
from Kerrisdale Elegies
- Elegy One
Fred Wah
from Pictograms from the Interior of BC
from Waiting for Saskatchewan
Elite 2
Father/Mother Haibun #4
Father/Mother Haibun #11
Music at the Heart of Thinking #90
Hamill's Last Stand
Margaret Atwood
Progressive Insanities of a Pioneer
They Eat Out
Death of a Young Son by Drowning
Notes toward a Poem That Can Never Be Written
A Women's Issue
Patrick Lane
Passing into Storm
Albino Pheasants
Fathers and Sons
The Spoon
Michael Harris
Siren Songs
After Rodin's The Kiss
Family Album: Uncle
from Turning Out the Light
Dennis Lee
400: Coming Home
from Civil Elegies / 1
Coming Becomes You
from The Captain Poetry Poems
What Is Can Lit?
Allegory #6
Landscape: 1
The Mouth
Michael Ondaatje
Early Morning, Kingston to Gananoque
"The Gate in His Head"
Letters & Other Worlds
Pat Lowther
Touch Home
Coast Range
The Dig
Daphne Marlatt
Imagine: A Town
A By-Channel; a Small Backwater
A lapsed
This City: Shrouded
Susan Musgrave
Arctic Poppies
The Laughter in the Kitchen
The Moment
Origami Dove
Winter Wren
Gary Geddes
Sandra Lee Scheuer
Jimmy's Place
Philip Larkin
At Swim Three Words
John Thompson
II / In this place we might be happy
VIII / I forget: why are there broken birds
XVI / The barn roof bangs a tin wing in the wind
XXV / In a dark wood
XXXVII / Now you have burned your books
Tom Wayman
Wayman in Love
Did I Miss Anything?
Air Support
Robert Bringhurst
The Beauty of the Weapons
Anecdote of the Squid
For the Bones of Joseph Mengele, Disinterred June 1985
The Occupation
Don McKay
The Great Blue Heron
Fridge Nocturne
Adagio for a Fallen Sparrow
Waking at the Mouth of the Willow River
Nocturnal Migrants
Loss Creek
Philosopher's Stone
Anne Szumigalski
The Lullaby
The Arrangement
Third Trimester
Robert Kroetsch
Meditation on Tom Thompson
from Seed Catalogue
For a Poet Who Has Stopped Writing
Are We There Yet?
A.F. Moritz
Dark Man
Woman in Astrakhan
The Tidal Wave
To the Still Unborn
Don Domanski
Untitled with Invisible Ink
A Hummingbird's Heart Beats 1260 Times a Minute
Biodiversity Is the Mother of All Beauty
For the Pure Mother Bee
Lorna Crozier
A Brief History of the Horse
from The Sex Life of Vegetables
1 / Carrots
2 / Onions
3 / Peas
Packing for the Future: Instructions
Watching My Lover
Taking the Measure
David Solway
Stones in Water
Modern Marriage
Roo Borson
A Sad Device
Dionne Brand
Ossuary I
Ossuary XV
Robyn Sarah
A Meditation Between Claims
On Closing the Apartment of My Grandparents of Blessed Memory
Erín Moure
Post-Modern Literature
For Mitterand's Life, for My Life, for Yours
The Cooking
XVI / What I'd give for my life to be my neighbour's old car
from The Unmemntioable
Sharon Thesen
Elegy, The Fertility Specialist
September, Turning, the Long Road Down to Love Animals
Afternoon with Liver
The Torturer's Horse
Patrick Friesen
from Anna
A Woman from Jamaica
Koestler's Window
Caught in the Sky
Bronwen Wallace
The Woman in this Poem
A Simple Poem for Virginia Woolf
Common Magic
Rhea Tregebov
At 3:00 or 4:00 or 5:00 a.m.
Edge Zone
Wherever You Are
Intelligent Life: Elegy
Family Dinners: Gordie
George Elliott Clarke
from Whylah Falls
- Look Homeward, Exile
- The Lover's Argument with Shelley
- The Wisdom of Shelley
- Blues for X
Ballad of A Hanged Man
Susan Glickman
For My Students in English 108 Who Complain That All Modern Literature is Too Depressing
When They Are Asleep in Their Nimbus of Flame
Know Your Audience
On Finding a Copy of Pigeon in the Hospital Bookstore
John Steffler
Monster Bait
That Night We Were Ravenous
After the Dance-Filled Rooms, the Smoke
That the Cat Sleeps
Beating the Bounds
Tim Lilburn
Names of God
In the Hills, Watching
How to Be Here?
Orphic Disgorgement, Anti-Colonial Disgorgement
Ann Carson
The Truth About God
Di Brandt
non resistance, or love Mennonite style
from mother, not mother
from Jerusalem, beloved
from Dog days in Maribor
1 / Truly, in this age
7 / What was it we wanted
9 / So many newly minted young
10 / Now that it's much much too late
Jay Zwicky
The Geology of Norway
Border Stations
Small Song: Prairie
Steven Heighton
The Machine-Gunner
Were You to Die
Herself, Revised
Mary Dalton
A Question of Narrative
My One Brother
Backhome Blues: Another Tune
The Great Big Sea and Lost Speech
Elizabeth Philips
November: Far Past
The Night Before
Lisa Robertson
She Has Smoothed Her Pants to No End
Give me hackneyed words
My purpose here
Essay on Heaven
Louise Bernice Halfe
Wagon Ride
Body Politics
Lizard's Curse
Hamilton's Graveyard
So Sorry
Sina Queyras
from A river by the moment
Even the idea of river
With or without rivets
from On the scent
from Divining Rod, or How to Find a Neural Pathway Hospital Exit: Emergency Lane: HOV
Proverbs of Hell
Carmine Starnino
After Caravaggio's "The Crucifixion of Saint Peter"
What My Mother's Hands Smell Like
Song of the House Husband
Pugnax Gives Notice
Ken Babstock
Explanatory Gap
As Marginalia in John Clare's The Rural Muse
Carolinian (Crosscut with Sound)
Karen Solie
Real Life
Pest Song
Casa Mendoza
An Acolyte Reads The Cloud of Unknowing
Sue Sinclair
Before you Were Born
Orpheus Meets Eurydice in the Underworld
Anne Compton
The House After Dark, Winter
After Reading A Poem by Stanley Kunitz
What Light Decays
The Intelligent Man's Guide to the Shore
The Library, Nova Scotia
Suzanne Buffam
The Starfish
The New Experience
Please Take Back the Sparrows
The Wise Man

There are no Instructor/Student Resources available at this time.

Gary Geddes is an award-winning poet, critic, and nonfiction writer. He has taught widely in colleges and universities, including Concordia University and Western Washington University, where he has served as distinguished professor of Canadian culture. Most recently he has published Drink the Bitter Root (2011), a chronicle of his travels and search for social justice in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as held the writer-in-residence position at McMaster University in fall 2012.

Paperback Oxford Canadian Dictionary - Edited by Katherine Barber
The Concise Canadian Writer's Handbook - The late William E. Messenger, Jan de Bruyn, Judy Brown and Ramona Montagnes
20th-Century Poetry and Poetics - Edited by Gary Geddes
An Anthology of Canadian Native Literature in English - Daniel David Moses, Terry Goldie and Armand Garnet Ruffo
An Anthology of Canadian Literature in English - Edited by Donna Bennett and Russell Brown

Special Features

  • Classic and contemporary selections represent both well-established poets and fresh voices.
  • Trusted for over 40 years, this authoritative collection has been introducing students to Canadian poetry since its first edition in 1970.
  • Balanced coverage of poetry from across Canada ensures every region is well represented.
New to this Edition
  • Includes work by 26 poets new to this volume - including Susan Musgrave, John Thompson, George Elliott Clarke, Susan Glickman, and many more - broadening the scope of this already expansive collection.
  • Over 195 poems added to this edition - including works by poets new to this text and new selections by poets who have appeared in previous editions.
  • Updated headnotes provide biographical information and critical insights for each poet, giving students the content required to understand and appreciate the readings.
  • Compact format is more portable without sacrificing rigour or depth.