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Scott's most important document about poetry is probably his two-part essay, "New Poems for Old" (published in The Canadian Forum in 1931), on the Modernist movement of poetry. In it, he defends modernist poetry and explains its development out of late nineteenth-century poetry:


    Gardens are vey nice in their way ... and poetry can be made of them; but they represent but a small portion of reality. The modernist kicked poetry rather rudely out into the street to seek amongst the haunts and habits of living men for the stuff from which a vital and humane art might be created. (337)

    The most important result of the modernist movement has undoubtedly been the reinstatement of poetry amongst the arts. (297)

    ... the modernist poet, like the socialist, has thought through present forms to a new and more suitable order. He is not concerned with destroying, but with creating, and being a creator he strikes terror into the hearts of the old and decrepit who cannot adjust themselves to that which is to be. The modernist poet frequently uses accepted forms, and only discards them when he discovers that they are unsuited to what he has to say. Then he creates a new form, groomed to his thought. (338)

Sandra Dwja reads this essay as a manifesto, and comments on how it reflects Scott's own poetry:

    Scott's own career as a poet exemplifies the transition from a Victorian Romanticism to the modern. But, as with most moderns, there was to be a strong infusion of Romanticism in his own poetry, primarily in his use of nature as symbol, but also in his belief that poetry can change society. (The Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature. Second edition. Eds. Eugene Benson and William Toye. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1997.)

F. R. Scott's works copyright © to The Estate of the Author.


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