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Author Name:    REANEY, James

Title:   Suit of Nettles. First Edition in dustjacket

Publisher:    Macmillan, Toronto, 1958, 

Seller ID:   33784

REANEY, James. A Suit of Nettles. Toronto : The Macmillan Company of CanadaLimited, 1958. First Edition. Pp (4),v-x,1-54. 8vo [160 x 255 mm], black c loth spine, tan paper-covered boards, gilt lettering to spine. James CrerarReaney, OC, FRSC (b. September 1, 1926, Easthope, Ontario d. June 11, 20 08, London, Ontario). Winner of the 1958 Governor General's Award for poetry. "The title of this important full-length poem was inspired by a German fairy tale. Seven suits of nettles are woven by the sister of seven brotherswho have been changed into swans. When the time comes tor the seven swans to put on their suits of nettles and regain human form, the arm nf one suitis not finished. Consequently one brother always has one swan's wing inste ad of an arm. The poem like Spenser's Shepherd's Calendar is a sequence of pastoral eclogues, one each month of the year but here the dialogues are not between bucolic swains; they are between Ontario geese! Although the goose-eye-view is bound to be somewhat restricting there is much carefully observed detail about farm houses, spring in a small pond, summer in a pasture,the small town Ontario Fall Fair. There are some ambitious satirical wallo ps at the English critical school headed by F. R. Leavis, at philosophy, progressive education and Canadian history. Here is a poet who believes in merry invective. Lively, fanciful, humorous, this poem is also remarkable forits metrical ingenuity and skiilul contrasts of harsh, brassy passages wit h mellifluous lyric. Parts of it have been read in the CBC programme Anthology and the April Eclogue first appeared in The Tamarack Reiew." (from the dj). Penned note on page 24, else very good in lightly browned dustjacket. 45.00


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