Monday, October 21, 2013

A.J.M. Smith

A.J.M. Smith (1902—1980) is a Canadian poet whose first collection News of the Phoenix (1943) won the Governor General's Award for poetry. For more than 35 years he taught at what is now Michigan State University, and spent his summers in Quebec's Eastern Townships.

When he was still a grad student, in Montreal in 1925, together with F.R. Scott he founded and edited the McGill Fortnightly Review — the first Canadian periodical to publish modernist poetry. His PhD thesis was on "the Metaphysical Poets of the Anglican Church in the 17th Century". In 1936, along with Scott, and Leo Kennedy, he edited the anthology New Provinces — which was also significant in the promotion of modernist poetry in Canada.

Beside One Dead

This is the sheath,
---the sword drawn,
These are the lips,
---the word spoken.
This is Calvary
---toward dawn;
And this is the
---third-day token —
The opened tomb
---and the Lord gone:
Something whole
---that was broken.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. He is the award-winning author of the poetry collections Poiema (Wipf & Stock) and So The Moon Would Not Be Swallowed (Rubicon Press). They are both available at: