Duncan Campbell Scott Essay

2652 words - 11 pages

Poetry is a collection of words, phrases, and sentences that people use to express their feelings about a certain issue; however, some poems can be about absolutely nothing at all. By searching deep enough, an interesting story relating to the poem can usually be found.In the case of Duncan Campbell Scott, poet and short story writer, there are a tremendous amount of stories behind his poetry. He is considered one of the major Canadian literary figures of the late 19th and 20th centuries. Scott was a member of a group known as the "Confederation poets" which also included Charles G. D. Roberts, Bliss Carman and Archibald Lampman, who became a close friend of Scott. At the age of seventeen Scott obtained a position as clerk in the Indian Branch of the federal government and before his retirement in 1932 had risen to become deputy superintendent of the Department of Indian Affairs. It was during this time he developed an understanding of sympathy with the native peoples (Indians) of Canada, some of which appears in his poems. However, Scott was responsible for the implementation of the most repressive and brutal assimilation programs Canada ever imposed on the Indians. This created a conflict for Scott, the sensitive and respected poet and Scott, the insensitive enforcer of Canada's most tyrannical Indian policies.Duncan Campbell Scott is renowned for his use of typical Canadian subjects and for his stark and uncompromising narratives about Indians, fur traders and other inhabitants of the Canadian North. Nature, its moods and seasons, are often the subject of his lyrics. Violence also emerges as an important theme in many of Scott's poems. His poems are intense, contain precise imagery and are flexible in meter and form. Scott published eleven books of poetry, a novel, two biographies, assorted short works and edited several volumes of the poetry of his friend, Archibald Lampman. Scott was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on August 2, 1862, the son of a Methodist preacher. Four years after his birth, political leaders met in London to discuss the formation of a new nation. The "Dominion of Canada" was selected as the name. On July 1, 1867 the British North American Act also known as the Confederation Act of 1867 was passed. This united Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and help to lessen the political, financial and social difficulties faced by the individual territories. The national consciousness inspired by the Confederation Act of 1867 was expressed in Scott's works. Thus he was known as a "Confederation poet." He grew up in Ottawa, which had been chosen to be the capital of Canada by Queen Victoria in 1857. Ottawa is located just off the Ottawa River. In the mid-19th century Ottawa was a small city whose main industry was lumbering. The town was surrounded by sawmills, paper mills, warehouses and construction sites. By the end of the century; however, plans were underway to turn Ottawa into an elegant city...

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