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Joseph Howe and Thomas D’Arcy McGee: Nation-Builders and Poets
Rediscovered by Matthew Holmes, reviews editor of [_Arc Poetry Magazine_], poet and former bureaucrat.
Before the so-called long-hailed Confederation Poets there were passionate, visionary politicians such as Joseph Howe and Thomas D’Arcy McGee (a former Irish rebel later assassinated on an Ottawa street after giving a stirring speech in the House of Commons). Howe and McGee were accomplished poets and statesmen who deserve credit for planting the seeds of our national literature. Howe and McGee penned their verse in between strident efforts at nation-building, thus shaping the country through both politics and writing. Was their poetry any good? Was it expectedly patriotic, or did it hold surprises? Does it remain historically significant? This essay explores these and other questions, while introducing the work of two of Canada’s earliest bards.

h3. Joseph Howe and Thomas D’Arcy McGee: Nation-Builders and Poets
p. *Rediscovered by Matthew Holmes, reviews editor of Arc Poetry Magazine, poet and former bureaucrat*
!>http://www.arcpoetry.ca/images/fn_poets/thomas_darcy_mcgee.gif 160w 230h (Thomas Darcy McGee 1825-1868, a rediscovered Canadian poet)!
!((>http://www.arcpoetry.ca/images/fn_poets/joseph_howe.gif 160w 230h (Joseph Howe 1804-1873, a rediscovered Canadian poet)!
Before the so-called long-hailed Confederation Poets there were passionate, visionary politicians such as Joseph Howe and Thomas D’Arcy McGee (a former Irish rebel later assassinated on an Ottawa street after giving a stirring speech in the House of Commons). Howe and McGee were accomplished poets and statesmen who deserve credit for planting the seeds of our national literature. Howe and McGee penned their verse in between strident efforts at nation-building, thus shaping the country through both politics and writing. Was their poetry any good? Was it expectedly patriotic, or did it hold surprises? Does it remain historically significant? This essay explores these and other questions, while introducing the work of two of Canada’s earliest bards.


h4. About Essayist Matthew Holmes
Matthew Holmes, reviews editor of Arc and co-editor of [_Arc’_]s _Forgotten and Neglected_ issue, is a poet and former bureaucrat. His first collection of poems, [_Hitch_], was recently released by Nightwood Editions/blewointment press. He is also chief inspector of the bad repoesy mfg co., and sometime publisher of the literary zine, [_modomnoc_].

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