- Why Should We Read and Study Carman?
- Literature & Analysis
- “A Son of the Sea”
- “The Ships of Yule”
- from “The Joys of the Open Road”
- “An Autumn Song” [aka “A Vagabond Song”]
- Analysis of “The Joys of the Open Road” and “An Autumn Song”
- “In Bay Street”
- “There’s Not a Little Boat, Sweetheart”
- “I Do Not Long for Fame”
- “Three Things There Be in the World, Yvonne”
- Analysis of “There’s Not a Little Boat, Sweetheart,” “I Do Not Long for Fame,” and “Three Things There Be in the World, Yvonne”
- “In Apple Time”
- Analysis of “Vestigia”
- “Low Tide on Grand Pré”
- Questions and Considerations for Reflection
- Strategies for Teachers
- Further Reading
The most lyrical and bohemian of Canada’s Confederation poets, Bliss Carman was born in Fredericton in 1861 in a small cottage once owned by Jonathan Odell. Carman was the first cousin and close confidante of Charles G.D. Roberts (their mothers were sisters who traced their ancestral line to the New England essayist and Transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson). While a student at Fredericton’s famous Collegiate Grammar School, Carman came under the influence of George Parkin, who tutored him in Greek and Roman classics and in the aesthetic theories of the contemporary European world. It was also Parkin who taught Carman and Roberts an appreciation for the natural world, bringing them on hiking and canoeing trips into the New Brunswick wilderness. Carman’s first poems appeared in the UNB Monthly a few years before he graduated from UNB (1881). After UNB he studied sporadically at Oxford, Edinburgh, and Harvard universities. At Harvard he encountered a world of new and daring ideas that would change his perspective, though not entirely his creative writing. His first collection of poems, Low Tide on Grand Pré: A Book of Lyrics (1893), was quietly lauded if not commercially successful, and he was hailed as a major poetic voice. He published prodigiously (over 1500 pages of poetry) and remained popular throughout his lifetime – and despite living much of his adult life in the US he was feted on his return to Canada in the early 1920s, becoming the unofficial poet laureate of Canada in 1921.
For a much more detailed biography of Carman, see his New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia entry.
- We read Carman for the delight of his musicality. He is our great lyric poet, and like all lyric poets his words are a pleasure to speak and hear aloud. His lines literally carry us along, and have lent themselves to the creation of many musical compositions over the years.
- Carman was also extremely well known in his day, one of the few New Brunswick poets known outside of Canada. And he was known as much for his free-spirited lifestyle as for his verse. Possessing a radical Bohemian spirit, his life on the road and in the company of New Age pioneers and quacks anticipated the restlessness of Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and the wayward souls of the 1960s. As Canada’s great rogue lyricist well into the twentieth century, he enjoyed an affection and fame akin to Leonard Cohen’s today.
- We read figures like Carman, finally, for the fineness of their sensibilities. Pointing to a writer’s “sensibility” might appear to be an old affectation, for it is not how we generally speak today, but it is still a valuable consideration. Of course, all artists possess such sensibility – defined as their heightened sensitivity to the world in which they live – but some are more obvious about displaying it than others. In today’s postmodern world, displays of sensibility are less frequent and, in many cases, parodied or shunned. Poets tend to follow T.S. Eliot’s directive in “Tradition and the Individual Talent” that the personality of the writer should be muted. Carman lived under no such censorship of the personal, however, and it is thus enlivening to read his work as the emotional register of an earlier time. He was not ashamed of his feelings, shared them openly with readers, and, as such, made his sensitivities to the world around him an essential aspect of his work. It will not be until Elizabeth Brewster and Alden Nowlan that New Brunswick poets are as forthright about their moods and feelings as Carman.
“A Son of the Sea”
I was born for deep-sea faring;
I was bred to put to sea;
Stories of my father’s daring
Filled me at my mother’s knee.
I was sired among the surges;
I was cubbed beside the foam;
All my heart is in its verges,
And the sea wind is my home.
All my boyhood, from far vernal
Bourns of being, came to me
Dream-like, plangent, and eternal
Memories of the plunging sea.
“The Ships of Yule”
When I was just a little boy,
Before I went to school,
I had a fleet of forty sail
I called the Ships of Yule;
Of every rig, from rakish brig
And gallant barkentine,
To little Fundy fishing boats
With gunwales painted green.
They used to go on trading trips
Around the world for me,
For though I had to stay on shore
My heart was on the sea.
They stopped at every port of call
From Babylon to Rome,
To load with all the lovely things
We never had at home;
With elephants and ivory
Bought from the King of Tyre,
And shells and silk and sandal-wood
That sailor men admire;
With figs and dates from Samarcand,
And squatty ginger-jars,
And scented silver amulets
From Indian bazaars;
With sugar-cane from Port of Spain,
And monkeys from Ceylon,
And paper lanterns from Pekin
With painted dragons on;
With cocoanuts from Zanzibar,
And pines from Singapore;
And when they had unloaded these
They could go back for more.
And even after I was big
And had to go to school,
My mind was often far away
Aboard the Ships of Yule.
from “The Joys of the Open Road”
Now the joys of the road are chiefly these:
A crimson touch on the hard-wood trees;
A vagrant’s morning wide and blue,
In early fall, when the wind walks, too;
A shadow highway cool and brown,
Alluring up and enticing down
From rippled water to dappled swamp,
From purple glory to scarlet pomp;
The outward eye, the quiet will,
And the striding heart from hill to hill;
The tempter apple over the fence;
The cobweb bloom on the yellow quince;
The palish asters along the wood, –
A lyric touch of the solitude;
An open hand, an easy shoe,
And a hope to make the day go through, –
Another to sleep with, and a third
To wake me up at the voice of a bird;
The resonant far-listening morn
And the hoarse whisper of the corn;
The crickets mourning their comrades lost
In the night’s retreat from the gathering frost...
The broad gold wake of the afternoon;
The silent fleck of the cold new moon;
The sound of the hollow sea’s release
From stormy tumult to starry peace;
With only another league to wend;
And two brown arms at the journey’s end!
These are the joys of the open road –
For him who travels without a load.
“An Autumn Song” [aka “A Vagabond Song”]
There is something in the autumn which is native to my
Touch of manner, hint of mood;
And my heart is like a rhyme,
With the yellow and the purple and the crimson
The scarlet of the maples can shake me like a cry
Of bugles going by.
And my lonely spirit thrills
To see the frosty asters like a smoke upon the hills.
There is something in October sets the gypsy blood
We must rise and follow her,
When from every hill aflame
She calls and calls each vagabond by name.
Analysis of “The Joys of the Open Road” and “An Autumn Song”
Carman is renowned for lyricism. To this day he is considered New Brunswick’s (indeed Canada’s) greatest lyric poet. The two poems above are characteristic of that lyricism, and of his “Vagabondia” period, which spanned the years of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. By 1912 that period of restless innocence and joyful lyricism had ended, its lightness and joy forever silenced by the horrors of the Great War. Astute readers will recognize parallels between the Vagabondia poems and the verse of Walt Whitman, especially Leaves of Grass. Both poets celebrate the pure potentiality of a democratic America (Carman’s Vagabondia poems were written in the US), an America where everything was possible, where the open road beckoned, and where each individual was the radical sum of his own hopes and desires. In 1886, Carman enrolled at Harvard University, where he met Richard Hovey (1864–1900), the “Dick” or “Black Dick” of his Vagabondia poems. Hovey became his travelling companion, his drinking buddy, and his collaborator on three volumes of “tramp” verse, Songs from Vagabondia (1894), More Songs from Vagabondia (1896), and Last Songs from Vagabondia (1901). Both men imagined themselves as free spirits on the road, aspiring to the life of Lord Byron, Stéphane Mallarmé, Oscar Wilde, and other rogue voices. Their independence of spirit was typically New England and Emersonian for being an expression of (small “r”) republicanism at its purest: the individual withdrawing from a confining or corrupt society and living by his own dictates and devices. The rhythmic ease and intense musicality of the Vagabondia verse complements the sense of freedom and abandon that independence brings. Those gypsy and Bohemian airs, of course, are central features of Romanticism, but they played particularly well in an America that loved both the unbounded horizons of the open road and the individuality that the open road invited. Not surprisingly, many of these poems have been set to music. Other poems of the period, such as the ballad “In Bay Street,” written around 1898, display the same joyful musicality.
“In Bay Street”
“What do you sell, John Camplejohn,
In Bay Street by the sea?”
“Oh, turtle shell is what I sell,
In great variety;
“Trinkets and combs and rosaries,
All keepsakes from the sea;
‘Tis choose and buy what takes the eye,
In such a treasury.”
“‘Tis none of these, John Camplejohn,
Though curious they be,
But something more I’m thinking for,
In Bay Street by the sea.
“Where can I buy the magic charm
Of the Bahaman sea,
That fills mankind with peace of mind
And soul’s felicity?
“Now, what do you sell, John Camplejohn,
In Bay Street by the sea,
Tinged with that true and native blue
Of lapis lazuli?
“Look from your door, and tell me now
The colour of the sea.
Where can I buy that wondrous dye,
And take it home with me?
“And where can I buy that rustling sound,
In this city by the sea,
Of the plumy palms in their high blue calms;
Or the stately poise and free
“Of the bearers who go up and down.
Silent as mystery,
Burden on head, with naked tread,
In the white streets by the sea?
“And where can I buy, John Camplejohn,
In Bay Street by the sea.
The sunlight’s fall on the old pink wall,
Or the gold of the orange-tree?”
“Ah, that is more than I’ve heard tell
In Bay Street by the sea,
Since I began, my roving man,
A trafficker to be.
“As sure as I’m John Camplejohn,
And Bay Street’s by the sea.
Those things for gold have not been sold,
Within my memory.
“But what would you give, my roving man
From countries over-sea,
For the things you name, the life of the same,
And the power to bid them be?”
“I’d give my hand, John Camplejohn,
In Bay Street by the sea,
For the smallest dower of that dear power
To paint the things I see.”
“My roving man, I never heard,
On any land or sea
Under the sun, of any one
Could sell that power to thee.”
“’Tis sorry news, John Camplejohn,
If this be destiny,
That every mart should know that art,
Yet none can sell it me.
“But look you, here’s the grace of God:
There’s neither price nor fee,
Duty nor toll, that can control
The power to love and see.
“To each his luck, John Camplejohn,
Say I. And as for me,
Give me the pay of an idle day
In Bay Street by the sea.”
“There’s Not a Little Boat, Sweetheart”
There’s not a little boat, sweetheart,
That dances on the tide, –
There’s not a nodding daisy-head
In all the meadows wide, –
In all the warm green orchards,
Where bright birds sing and stray,
There’s not a whistling oriole
So glad as I this day.
“I Do Not Long for Fame”
I do not long for fame,
Nor triumph, nor trumpets of praise;
I only wish my name
To endure in the coming days,
When men say musing at times,
With smiling speech and slow,
“He was a maker of rhymes
Yvonne loved long ago!”
“Three Things There Be in the World, Yvonne”
Three things there be in the world, Yvonne;
And what do you guess they mean?
The stable land, the heaving sea,
And the tide that hangs between.
Three things there be in the world, Yvonne;
And what do you guess they mean?
Your sun-warm soul, my wind-swept soul,
And the current that draws between.
Analysis of “There’s Not a Little Boat, Sweetheart,” “I Do Not Long for Fame,” and “Three Things There Be in the World, Yvonne”
In the latter half of Carman’s Vagabondia period, he began exploring the potential of the love lyric. His five volumes of The Pipes of Pan (1902–1906) and Sappho: A Hundred Lyrics (1904) brought him to the summit of that exploration, and, for many critics, the summit of his powers as a poet. By the time he started collaborating with Mary Perry King on The Making of Personality (1908), Carman had written his best poetry. What followed were two decades of attraction to strange ideas of the literary occult and esoteric personality theory (Unitrinianism and Personal Harmonizing), ideas that did nothing to advance his abilities as a poet. There were temporary instances of brilliance but after 1908 his star had begun to decline. That said, Carman’s pre-1908 poems shine with an exuberant brightness rarely matched. The poems of this period reveal Carman’s unusual optimism, an optimism that will soon be overshadowed by modernist pessimism and ennui. During its time, however, Carman’s exuberant mood wooed readers from all corners of the continent, earning him the affection of earlier courtly love poets. The humility of a poem such as “I Do Not Long for Fame” is as clever as it is heartfelt. The conceit (or fanciful idea of the poem) is that neither the speaker’s fame nor his posterity matter to him. Rather, what matters most is that he might be remembered as a man loved by Yvonne, one of his many paramours. More important than fame is their union, the intensity of which, presumably, outshines stardom. What woman would not swoon at that compliment, her beauty and charms worth more to the poet than eternal fame? Such was Carman’s power to delight. He loved the world and everything in it, believing that beauty was a balm for what ailed the planet.
“In Apple Time”
The apple harvest days are here,
The boding apple harvest days,
And down the flaming valley ways,
The foresters of time draw near.
Through leagues of bloom I went with Spring,
To call you on the slopes of morn,
Where in imperious song is borne
The wild heart of the goldenwing.
I roamed through alien summer lands,
I sought your beauty near and far;
To-day, where russet shadows are,
I hold your face between my hands.
On runnels dark by slopes of fern,
The hazy Autumn sleeps in sun.
Remembrance and desire, undone,
From old regret to dreams return.
The apple harvest time is here,
The tender apple harvest time;
A sheltering calm, unknown at prime,
Settles upon the brooding year.
I took a day to search for God,
And found Him not. But as I trod
By rocky ledge, through woods untamed,
Just where one scarlet lily flamed,
I saw His footprint in the sod.
Then suddenly, all unaware,
Far off in the deep shadows, where
A solitary hermit thrush
Sang through the holy twilight hush—
I heard His voice upon the air.
And even as I marvelled how
God gives us Heaven here and now,
In a stir of wind that hardly shook
The poplar leaves beside the brook—
His hand was light upon my brow.
At last with evening as I turned
Homeward, and thought what I had learned
And all that there was still to probe—
I caught the glory of His robe
Where the last fires of sunset burned.
Back to the world with quickening start
I looked and longed for any part
In making saving Beauty be . . .
And from that kindling ecstasy
I knew God dwelt within my heart.
Analysis of “Vestigia”
The word “vestigia” is the plural form of the Latin vestigium, which means “footprint.” Vestigia therefore denote footprints or traces. To understand “Vestigia" and “In Apple Time” in depth is to understand Carman’s attraction to New England Transcendentalism, which he encountered as a doctrine at Harvard but which he also felt directly in his blood (his mother, Sophie Bliss, was a descendent of the influential New England poet and transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson). Transcendentalism was a philosophical movement that opposed the high intellectualism of Harvard’s Divinity School. That high intellectualism theorized that humans are separate from nature (thus positioned to use it at will as a resource) and that they are the shameful receptacles of Original Sin, an idea that reflected the dominant Calvinist ethos of earlier Puritanism. Contrary to that, the transcendentalists believed that spirituality “transcends” the intellect and is found in the intuitions of the individual, beyond what individuals can access through their senses. Human intuition and imagination, not logic, are therefore the touchstones of knowledge and understanding. As such, the human imagination is the primary authority in a world constrained by governments, institutions, and religions – an idea that, again, not only played well in republican America but was also rooted in the tradition of free-spirited American individualism.
“Vestigia” reveals its meaning in this context, a context that included Carman’s immersion in the mystical ideas of the second-generation transcendentalists. Proof of God, the poem suggests, is not found in revelation, text, or miracles, those things outside the normal human experience, but in what the attentive and introspective individual grasps. While not strictly adhering to a hard transcendentalist line (Carman makes provision for the authority of the senses), the poem nevertheless offers the transcendentalist conclusion that God ultimately dwells within each human heart. Likewise, to know God is to open oneself to the heart’s delight (the “kindling ecstasy”) in what God has made.
The poem is simpatico with everything that Carman wrote, which suggests that he was a poet well ahead of his time: a poet of intense but unorthodox spirituality. He was not doctrinaire but New Age. He was not brooding, ponderous, or densely philosophical, but carefree and optimistic. The lightness and joy of his musicality are celebrations of a world he took great delight in. Where his cousin Charles G.D. Roberts was the poet of mythic authority, and his student Francis Sherman the poet whose fatigues anticipated the next generation, Carman was the poet of exuberant joy.
“Low Tide on Grand Pré”
The sun goes down, and over all
These barren reaches by the tide
Such unelusive glories fall,
I almost dream they yet will bide
Until the coming of the tide.
And yet I know that not for us,
By any ecstasy of dream,
He lingers to keep luminous
A little while the grievous stream,
Which frets, uncomforted of dream—
A grievous stream, that to and fro
Athrough the fields of Acadie
Goes wandering, as if to know
Why one beloved face should be
So long from home and Acadie.
Was it a year or lives ago
We took the grasses in our hands,
And caught the summer flying low
Over the waving meadow lands,
And held it there between our hands?
The while the river at our feet—
A drowsy inland meadow stream—
At set of sun the after-heat
Made running gold, and in the gleam
We freed our birch upon the stream.
There down along the elms at dusk
We lifted dripping blade to drift,
Through twilight scented fine like musk,
Where night and gloom awhile uplift,
Nor sunder soul and soul adrift.
And that we took into our hands
Spirit of life or subtler thing—
Breathed on us there, and loosed the bands
Of death, and taught us, whispering,
The secret of some wonder-thing.
Then all your face grew light, and seemed
To hold the shadow of the sun;
The evening faltered, and I deemed
That time was ripe, and years had done
Their wheeling underneath the sun.
So all desire and all regret;
And fear and memory, were naught;
One to remember or forget
The keen delight our hands had caught;
Morrow and yesterday were naught.
The night has fallen, and the tide. . . .
Now and again comes drifting home,
Across these aching barrens wide,
A sigh like driven wind or foam:
In grief the flood is bursting home.
Have little care that Life is brief,
And less that art is long.
Success is in the silences,
Though fame is in the song.
► Readers will note the similarities between Carman’s Vagabondia poems and Martin Butler’s poems in the preceding module (Pre-Confederation Writers and Poets). Both Carman and Butler were advocates of the absolute freedom of the open road, a freedom that still resonates today. A vital, if suppressed, aspect of the New Brunswick identity, then, is this desire for complete (some might say radical) independence. Our distrust of governments, corporations, and institutional controls has its roots in the Emersonian values which writers like Butler and Carman espouse. That distrust flies in the face of how governments and political groups (Liberals and Conservatives) have consolidated power in the province, and accounts for part of what makes New Brunswick so difficult to govern.
► The plucky, freewheeling “hobo” has a long cultural history, but this figure seems to be gradually disappearing from literature, song, and film. In a world where most roads have not only been travelled but also thoroughly documented, where communication devices tether us continuously to home, and where solitary men wandering for no discernable purpose are viewed with suspicion, has the rogue spirit been extinguished? Or have today’s romantics found new open roads to explore?
Strategy 1: Childhood Dreams (“The Ships of Yule”)
Tales of seafaring adventures were particularly popular with boys in the Victorian era. This poem recounts a longing for the exotic and the unknown, what the child “never had at home” (beyond, of course, in stories). The teaching strategies below expand on this notion.
- Ask students to think of what dominated their childhood imaginations and ambitions. Possible writing prompts or questions for discussion include: What connects your imagination with that of Carman? What informed or fueled your imagination? How has your imagination evolved since childhood? To what extent has literature and narrative (stories) played a role?
- Would this poem change, and if so how, if the speaker was a) female or b) a modern teenager?
- Ask students to compare this poem to Alden Nowlan’s “I, Icarus” (see Confessional Humanism). Speakers in both poems talk of a fantasy carrying them away, but students may sense a darkness in Nowlan’s poem that is not present in Carman’s. The first line of “I, Icarus” suggests the speaker no longer has the imaginative capability to fly, and the title is foreboding, as the tale of Icarus is not a happy one.
- Ask students to compare the speaker of this poem with the speaker of either of Carman’s vagabond poems – are there any similarities in their temperament? If so, can students think of at least three other characters, real or imaginary, who exhibit these qualities?
Key Stage Curriculum Outcomes:
- Reading and Viewing: Articulate their own processes and strategies in exploring, interpreting, and reflecting on sophisticated texts and tasks
- Speaking and Listening: Articulate, advocate, and justify positions on an issue or text in a convincing manner, showing an understanding of a range of viewpoints
Strategy 2: God in Nature (“Vestigia”)
Ask students to compare this poem to e.e. cummings’ “i thank You God for most this amazing.” Both Carman and cummings (he used the lowercase spelling of his name) were influenced by Transcendentalism, and these poems each tell of communing with God through nature. Are there differences in the way the Canadian Carman and the American cummings represent this experience? Do transcendentalist ideas persist today? If so, where have students encountered such ideas?
Key Stage Curriculum Outcomes:
- Reading and Viewing: Note the relationship of specific elements of a particular text to elements of other texts
Strategy 3: Fame (“I Do Not Long for Fame” and “Envoy”)
After reading these poems, choose from the teaching strategies below.
- A common criticism of the current generation of youth is that young people aspire to fame but not accomplishment. Ask students to debate this stereotype: are today’s youth more obsessed with fame than previous generations? Does the rise of reality television, YouTube, etc. fuel the desire for fame, or distort our idea of how prevalent the obsession really is? Are people who are interested in fame necessarily shallow? Are certain kinds of fame-seeking admirable, or more justifiable than others? And what is the difference between fame and accomplishment? Can one exist without the other, and if it does (if fame is packaged and sold as something that can be instantaneous), then what does that say about the politics driving the idea of fame?
- Ask students to either a) rewrite the final two lines of Carman’s “I Do Not Long for Fame,” describing how they personally wish to be remembered; or b) write a new short verse on the same topic, if Carman’s first stanza is not applicable. Assure them that they will not be required to share such a personal piece of writing, unless they volunteer to do so. Allow time after for reflection: how might students live their lives so that they will be remembered in this way? Does reading or writing poetry help in any way to clarify big questions, such as how to live a meaningful life? If so, how?
- Read alongside one of Emily Dickinson’s many poems about fame (e.g., “Success is counted sweetest,” “Fame is a fickle food,” “I’m Nobody! Who are you,” or “Fame is a bee”). How do Carman’s and Dickinson’s speakers approach the subject differently? Is one more disdainful of fame? More disinterested? Is there any tension between what the speakers claim is most important to them, versus what students believe is in their hearts?
Key Stage Curriculum Outcomes:
- Reading and Viewing: Examine how media texts construct notions of roles, behaviour, culture, and reality
- Writing and Representing: Use writing and other ways of representing to explore, extend, and reflect on the basis for their feelings, values, and attitudes
Strategy 4: Successful Lyrics (“There’s Not a Little Boat, Sweetheart”)
Carman’s lyric is effective and moving. The choice of sweet and humble images like “nodding daisy-head” and “whistling oriole,” instead of “dazzling rose” or “soaring eagle,” makes the love expressed seem pure and unpretentious. In the space of eight short lines we learn who the speaker is, whom he is speaking to, and, crucially, why he is speaking at this moment – we learn, in other words, the reason for the lyric. Such compression lends itself to song, and so this poem could easily be performed as a song, reminiscent, perhaps, of John Denver’s “Sunshine on my Shoulders.”
After discussing this poem, ask students to bring in an example of a song lyric they find irritating or weak. Ask them to analyze their selections by measuring them against Carman’s poem: in the song, do they also get a sense of who the speaker is (note: this is not the same as the celebrity singer)? Who the audience is (note: not the listening audience of fans, but the audience the speaker is supposedly addressing in the moment)? The reason for the song? In weak lyrics, at least one of those elements is usually lacking. Ask students to rewrite and improve the weak lyrics, perhaps using inspiration from the ways that Carman’s poem succeeds. Encourage volunteers to share their critique of the weak lyrics, and their new version.
Key Stage Curriculum Outcomes:
- Writing and Representing: Demonstrate a commitment to the skilful crafting of a range of writing and other representations
- Writing and Representing: Produce writing and other forms of representation characterized by increasing complexity of thought, structure, and conventions
Carman, Bliss. The Selected Poems of Bliss Carman. Ed. and Intro. Lorne Pierce. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1960.
Dickinson, Emily. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson. Ed. Thomas H. Johnson. Boston: Little, Brown, 1960. Dickinson’s poems are accessible online.
Miller, Muriel. Bliss Carman: Quest and Revolt. St. John’s, NL: Jesperson Press, 1985.
Peck, John. Maritime Fiction: Sailors and the Sea in British and American Novels, 1719-1917. Gordonsville, VA, USA: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001.
Roberts, Charles G.D. “More Reminiscences of Bliss Carman.” Dalhousie Review 10 (1930): 1-9.
Stephens, Donald. Bliss Carman. New York: Twayne, 1966.
Whalen, Terry. Bliss Carman and His Works. Toronto: ECW Press, 1984.
For much more detailed primary and secondary source bibliographies of Carman, see his New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia entry.
The works above have been in the Canadian public domain for 50 years after publication and 50 years after the author’s death. As such, they are no longer protected by copyright in Canada. However, they may still be under copyright in some countries. Readers outside Canada must comply with the respective copyright laws of the country in which they live.
Each of the poems above, with the exception of “In Apple Time,” appears in The Selected Poems of Bliss Carman. “In Apple Time” appears in Songs of the Great Dominion: Voices from the Forests and Waters, the Settlements and Cities of Canada. Ed. William Douw Lighthall. London: Walter Scott, 1889.
All contents except for poetry and fiction copyright © Tony Tremblay, James W. Johnson, and Alexandra Cogswell.