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Thread: Remembering Agnes Ethelwin Wetherald, Canadian Poet

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Default Remembering Agnes Ethelwin Wetherald, Canadian Poet

    Ethelwyn Wetherald

    'The Last Robin' is an attractive volume, showing in the cover design the songster most closely associated with the spring, whose ecstatic chant so nearly assimilates the poet's own gift of overflowing, uplifting melody. . . . . . The salient quality of Miss Wetherald's work is its freshness of feeling, a perennial freshness, renewable as spring. This has a setting of harmonious form, for the poet's ear is delicately attuned to the value of words, both as to the sound and the meaning. . . . . . Dealing for the most part with the familiar objects of nature and of life, she remains the poet, as well in the level regions of her subjects as in the elevated. . . . . Now and again she has attained the supreme elevation, as in her lovely poems, 'Earth's Silences', 'The Patient Earth', 'The Wind of Death' and 'The Little Noon'. . . . . . The sonnets are an important part of the volume, and, to some minds, will represent the most important part. Miss Wetherald's sonnets are flowing in expression and harmonious in thought; some are beautiful.–PHAROS, in 'The Globe.'
    [Page 168]

    AGNES ETHELWYN WETHERALD was born of English-Quaker parents at Rockwood, Ontario, April 26th, 1857. Her father was the late Rev. William Wetherald, who founded the Rockwood Academy about the middle of the last century, and was its principal for some years. He was a lover of good English, spoken and written, and his talented daughter has owed much to his careful teaching. He was the teacher whom the late James J. Hill, the railway magnate, had held in such grateful remembrance.

    Additional education was received by Miss Wetherald at the Friends' Boarding School, Union Springs, N.Y., and at Pickering College.

    Miss Wetherald began the writing of poetry later in life than most poets and her first book of verse, The House of the Trees and Other Poems, did not appear until 1895. This book at once gave her high rank among women poets.

    Prior to this, she had collaborated with G. Mercer Adam on writing and publishing a novel, An Algonquin Maiden, and had conducted the Woman's Department in The Globe, Toronto, under the nom de plume, 'Bel Thistlewaite.'

    In 1902, appeared her second volume of verse, Tangled in Stars, and, in 1904, her third volume, The Radiant Road.

    In the autumn of 1907, a collection of Miss Wetherald's best poems was issued, entitled, The Last Robin: Lyrics and Sonnets. It was warmly welcomed generally, by reviewers and lovers of poetry. The many exquisite gems therein so appealed to Earl Grey, the then Governor-General of Canada, that he wrote a personal letter of appreciation to the author, and purchased twenty-five copies of the first edition for distribution among his friends.

    For years Miss Wetherald has resided on the homestead farm, near the village of Fenwick, in Pelham Township, Weland county, Ontario, and there in the midst of a large orchard and other rural charms, has dreamed, and visioned, and sung, pouring out her soul in rare, sweet songs, with the naturalness of a bird. And like a bird she has a nest in a large willow tree, cunningly contrived by a nature-loving brother, where her muse broods contentedly, intertwining her spirit with every aspect of the beautiful environment.

    Perhaps her moast famous poem in these parts, 'My Orders':

    My Orders

    MY orders are to fight;
    Then if I bleed, or fail,
    Or strongly win, what matters it?
    God only doth prevail.

    The servant craveth naught
    Except to serve with might.
    I was not told to win or lose,–
    My orders are to fight.

    Another bio:

  2. #2
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    Exile Confederate


    Quakers are pacifists until the jew orders them to fight, then the Quakers happily massacre children.

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