Francis Sherman


  1. Biography
  2. Why Should We Read and Study Sherman?
  3. Literature & Analysis
    • “At the Gate”
    • “Between the Battles”
    • Analysis of “Between the Battles”
    • “The House of Color”
    • Analysis of “The House of Color”
    • “A Road Song in May”
    • “A Song in August”
    • “The Watch”
    • Analysis of “The Watch”
    • “A Hearth-Song”
    • “‘So, After All, When All is Said and Done’”
  4. Questions and Considerations for Reflection
  5. Strategies for Teachers
  6. Further Reading
  7. Copyright


Francis Sherman, the third of the major Fredericton poets of Confederation, was born in Fredericton in 1871. He went to the city’s famous Collegiate School, where he was taught by George Parkin and Bliss Carman, and then briefly to UNB, dropping out because of a lack of money. He started a banking career at the Woodstock Branch of the Merchants’ Bank of Halifax in 1887, worked at the turn of the century in pre-Castro Cuba, turning that country into a major North and Central American banking centre, and by 1914 had risen to one of the senior executive positions at the Royal Bank of Canada in Montreal. At the height of his professional success he resigned from a life of comfort and influence to enlist as a private in the army, insisting that he bunk with his younger peers and collect the same meagre pay. He used his own substantial savings to supplement the wages of his fellow soldiers who were going on leave or experiencing hardship. A person of great humility, he published sparingly and out of sight, often in small or private journals in the US. His major collections came out in the 1890s. His muse was his first love and fiancée, May Whelpley, who was stricken with infantile paralysis (polio) before their wedding and never healthy enough to marry. Sherman, though, continued to see her, returning every year to be with her regardless of his location, and sending her early drafts of his work. When she died of tuberculosis so did his poetry cease.

For a much more detailed biography of Sherman, see his New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia entry.

Why Should We Read and Study Sherman?

  • Sherman has suffered terrible and unprecedented neglect, so much so that in writing the foreword to Sherman’s Collected Poems (1935), Charles G.D. Roberts introduced him as our country’s great unknown poet. Lorne Pierce, Canada’s foremost publisher of the early twentieth century, echoed Roberts, writing that “to the names of [the great Canadian poets] Bliss Carman, Archibald Lampman, and Duncan Campbell Scott . . . there must be added Francis Sherman” (7). Sherman, then, is the great poet in our tradition that few people have read.
  • Sherman is also noteworthy for straining against the bounds of his own tradition. Though characteristically a late Romantic, he yearns toward a modernist form of expression with much more boldness than his peers, perhaps because of his admiration for the prose modernists Joseph Conrad and Henry James. We see in his work, then, both a mastery of nineteenth century verse forms and, at the same time, a desire to break free from those forms. That combination of mastery and restlessness is a sure sign of an artist working at the forefront of his craft.

Literature & Analysis

“At the Gate”

Swing open wide, O Gate,
That I may enter in
And see what lies in wait
For me who have been born!
Her word I only scorn
Who spake of death and sin.

I know what is behind
Your heavy brazen bars;
I heard it of the wind
Where I dwelt yesterday:
The wind that blows alway
Among the ancient stars.

Life is the chiefest thing
The wind brought knowledge of,
As it passed, murmuring:
Life, with its infinite strength,
And undiminished length
Of years fulfilled with love.

The wind spake not of sin
That blows among the stars;
And so I enter in
(Swing open wide, O Gate!)
Fearless of what may wait
Behind your heavy bars.

“Between the Battles”

Let us bury him here,
where the maples are red!
He is dead,
And he died thanking God that he fell with the
      fall of the leaf and the year.

Where the hillside is sheer,
Let it echo our tread
Whom he led;
Let us follow as gladly as ever we followed
      who never knew fear.

Ere he died, they had fled;
Yet they heard his last cheer
Ringing clear,—
When we lifted him up, he would fain have
      pursued, but grew dizzy instead.

Break his sword and his spear!
Let this last prayer be said
By the bed
We have made underneath the wet wind in
      the maple trees moaning so drear:

“O Lord God, by the red
Sullen end of the year
That is here,
We beseech Thee to guide us and strengthen
      our swords till his slayers be dead!”

Analysis of  “Between the Battles”

This is a poem that reveals Sherman’s technical range and ability to enter into moments outside of himself (the poem was written many years before he became a soldier). Difficult at first, its meaning becomes clear when the occasion of the poem is understood as a remembrance for a fallen soldier. It is not just a remembrance, however, but also a rallying cry and a statement of defiant camaraderie and patriotism. It is these latter emotions that Sherman’s technical abilities convey so convincingly.

The language and metre that Sherman chooses is matter-of-fact and perfunctory. The third line of each stanza is likewise abrupt and unpoetic, breaking the cadence of the lines before. The little rhyme that exists, none of it internal, is a child’s rhyme: here/year, red/dead, and so on. Lyricism, it seems, has been extinguished or reduced to its basest level. And, of course, this is exactly appropriate to the emotion of the poem. In mourning and war, all lyricism dies for a time, and a world once resplendent is reduced to black and white.

When mapped onto the consciousness of the mourners – soldiers remembering their comrade and readying themselves to avenge his death – the clipped language of the poem reflects a controlled anger and a desire to contain emotions (the famous “stiff upper lip”), hence that which is perfunctory, pedestrian, and quite brutal in its bluntness. The medium of this poem, then, very effectively conveys its message. The soldiers have lost their leader and have been muted. What remains is a seething rage that will build slowly “till his slayers be dead!”

British and American modernist poets at the dawn of the new century would employ exactly these techniques to transform Romantic and Victorian sentiment into new expressions of provocation and unrest.

“The House of Color”

Fine gold is here; yea, heavy yellow gold,
Gathered ere Earth’s first days and nights were fled;
And all the walls are hung with scarfs of red,
Broidered in fallen cities, fold on fold;
The stainèd window’s saints are aureoled;
And all the textures of the East are spread
On the pavèd floor, whereon I lay my head,
And sleep, and count the coloured things of old.

Once, when the hills and I were all aflame
With envy of the pageant in the West
(Except the sombre pine-trees—whence there came,
Continually, the sigh of their unrest),
A lonely crow sailed past me, black as shame,
Hugging some ancient sorrow to his breast.

Analysis of  “The House of Color”

Appearing in The Deserted City (1899), “The House of Color” reflects Sherman’s influences, namely William Morris, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and the pre-Raphaelite poets. The latter was a “brotherhood” of English poets founded by Rossetti in 1848. They believed in a resplendent poetic and visual palette, and veered away from classical austerity and renunciation of emotion, the norm at the time. They insisted instead on the abundant detail and florid colours of Italian art, believing that a human’s most reverent practice was a celebration of the sensual.

William Morris (1834–1896) was a leading member of the pre-Raphaelite brotherhood. He was a textile designer, an expert on the decorative arts and illuminated manuscripts, and a translator of medieval literature. His design signature was to produce patterns in textiles that mirrored his observations of pattern repetition in nature. Sherman was especially taken with Morris’ The Defence of Guenevere and Other Poems (1858), the first published book of pre-Raphaelite poetry. The tone of those poems display a dark, Gothic melancholy and emotional exhaustion, though the rich hues characteristic of Morris and the larger group are evident.

As Charles G.D. Roberts wrote, Sherman’s early and middle work shows all of Morris’ strengths: “[Sherman’s poems] have the savor of the old tapestries. They sing longingly of knights in armor, and of lovely ladies whose red lips have long, long vanished into the kingdom of dream. They are the very stuff of romance. They have a haunting beauty of cadence and color. And they are of meticulous perfect craftsmanship” (A Foreword 25).

Sherman’s poem is therefore quite intentionally a tapestry of colour. It describes the view of a recumbent daydreamer who sees patterns of sunlight as they prism through a stained-glass window. What is “the pavèd floor” on which the daydreamer lies? Likely a Persian carpet or tile design set that matches the colour spectacle being observed.

The curiosity of the poem is the introduction of the lonely crow at the end, its blackness in vivid contrast to the reds and yellows of sunset, and its appearance invoking a change of mood: from the deep colours and textures of contented reverie to sorrow and unrest. The poem invites, even tantalizes, readers to speculate about the crow and to place it in the palette of colours and moods the poem presents. Readers will conclude that the poem is either an elaborate word picture, in which the meaning of the poem is the vividness of its colours, or that the colours themselves signify something greater than the visual feast. Sherman leaves us with both possibilities and no clear sense of his intentions.

“A Road Song in May”

O come! Is it not surely May?
The year is at its poise today.
Northward, I hear the distant beat
Of Spring’s irrevocable feet;
Tomorrow June will have her way.

O tawny waters, flecked with sun,
Come; for your labors all are done.
The gray snow fadeth from the hills;
And toward the sound of waking mills
Swing the brown rafts in, one by one.

O bees among the willow-blooms,
Forget your empty waxen rooms
Awhile, and share our golden hours!
Will they not come, the later flowers,
With their old colors and perfumes?

O wind that bloweth from the west,
Is not this morning road the best?
—Let us go hand in hand, as free
And glad as little children be
That follow some long-dreamed-of quest!

“A Song in August”

O gold is the West and gold the river-waters
Washing past the sides of my yellow birch canoe.
Gold are the great drops that fall from my paddle,
The far-off hills cry a golden word of you.

I can almost see you! Where its own shadow
Creeps down the hill’s side, gradual and slow,
There you stand waiting; the goldenrod and thistle
Glad of you beside them—the fairest thing they know.

Down the worn foot-path, the tufted pines behind you,
Gray sheep between,—unfrightened as you pass;
Swift through the sun-glow, I to my loved one
Come, striving hard against the long trailing grass.

Soon shall I ground on the shining gravel-reaches;
Through the thick alders you will break your way;
Then your hand in mine, and our path is on the waters,—
For us the long shadows and the end of day.

Whither shall we go? See, over to the westward,
An hour of precious gold standeth still for you and me;
Still gleams the grain, all yellow on the uplands;
West is it, or East, O Love, that you would be?

West now, or East? For, underneath the moonrise,
Also it is fair; and where the reeds are tall,
And the only little noise is the sound of quiet waters,
Heavy, like the rain, we shall hear the duck-oats fall.

And perhaps we shall see, rising slowly from the driftwood,
A lone crane go over to its inland nest;
Or a dark line of ducks will come in across the islands
And sail overhead to the marshes of the west.

Now a little wind rises up for our returning;
Silver grows the East, as the West grows gray;
Shadows on the waters, shaded are the meadows,
The firs on the hillside – naught so dark as they.

Yet we have known the light! – Was ever such an August?
Your hand leaves mine; and the new stars gleam
As we separately go to our dreams of opened heaven, –
The golden dawn shall tell you that you did not dream.

“The Watch”

Are those her feet at last upon the stair?
Her trailing garments echoing there?
The falling of her hair?

About a year ago I heard her come,
Thus; as a child recalling some
Vague memories of home.

O how the firelight blinded her dear eyes!
I saw them open, and grow wise:
No questions, no replies.

And now, tonight, comes the same sound of rain.
The wet boughs reach against the pane
In the same way, again.

In the old way I hear the moaning wind
Hunt the dead leaves it cannot find, —
Blind as the stars are blind.

—She may come in at midnight, tired and wan.
Yet,— what if once again at dawn
I wake to find her gone?

Analysis of  “The Watch”

From A Canadian Calendar: XII Lyrics (1900), “The Watch” is one of Sherman’s finest poems. Though short, it evokes his characteristic moods of loss and melancholy. Those moods, to repeat from above, come to him via the pre-Raphaelites, especially Morris and Rossetti. The following lines from Morris’ “The Haystack in the Floods” (from The Defence of Guenevere and Other Poems [1858]) are likely being echoed in Sherman’s poem:

Had she come all the way for this,
To part at last without a kiss?
Yea, had she borne the dirt and rain
That her own eyes might see him slain
Beside the haystack in the floods?

As well, Sherman’s poem recalls “Rest” by Christina Rossetti, younger sister of Dante Gabriel:

EARTH, lie heavily upon her eyes;
Seal her sweet eyes weary of watching, Earth;
Lie close around her; leave no room for mirth
With its harsh laughter, nor for sound of sighs.
She hath no questions, she hath no replies,
Hush’d in and curtain’d with a blessèd dearth
Of all that irk’d her from the hour of birth ...

The echoes of Morris and Rossetti add allusive texture to Sherman’s poem, for readers familiar with Morris’ and Rossetti’s work will bring their sense of painful departure to Sherman’s poem of lost love. The delicacy and refinement of emotion that Sherman creates in this poem is proof that he was no less accomplished or able than his much better known models. Had he lived in England among the pre-Raphaelite artists, he would have been a literary star.

The poem itself is most likely sourced in the disappointment of Sherman’s relationship with May Whelpley, whom he loved deeply but was fated never to marry. She is often the figure of mystery and longing, the Beatrice, at the centre of his poems (“A Song in August,” for example), and the source of pain that he stokes for poetic purposes. As “The Watch” shows, though, her invocation is no mere artifice, and the sense of loss the speaker feels is so intense as to suggest an actual experience.

What makes the poem particularly poignant is the aloneness of its speaker. We see him vividly and alone, caught between grief that his beloved is gone and hope that he may be visited by her again. She has become a ghost of Gothic romance, with trailing garments and falling hair. And he, in turn, has become the watcher, ever alert to, and even channeling, her appearance.

In the fourth stanza of the poem, Sherman employs what modernist poet Ezra Pound will later term an “objective correlative,” a literary device that uses an image to stand for an emotion. In this case, Sherman uses the images of rain and wind to stand for his feelings of abandonment, the rhyming assonance of “ain” (rain, again) evoking the pain of the experience. Straining to listen for his love’s return, all he can hear is the scratch of wet boughs against his window, the wind “moaning” the hollowness he feels inside. These images impart emotional intensity, heightening the pity we feel for the figure at the centre of the poem. We not only understand his vigilance, but we also share his discovery that morning light brings the hard truth that nighttime reverie tries so desperately to deny. Who among us has not tried the same ruse?

As an example of amplified emotion, few poems are more poignant and universally understood. To read this poem is to understand it in the heart and gut.

“A Hearth-Song”

One more log on the fire!
For we be aged men
(Whom nothing once could tire—
But it was Summer then!)
With only one desire—
That Spring were born again.

Now Earth the deep snows cover,
That—long ago, alas!—
Was garmented with clover
And yellow weeds and grass;
The wasted days are over
We deemed could never pass.

Yet why should we go weeping
Because that sudden thief,
The snow, hath in its keeping
Each little bud and leaf?—
I think the grasses, sleeping,
Laugh softly at our grief!

For once of old we waited,
Praying that Spring might come
And Earth be consecrated;
(Had she discovered some
New resting-place, created
For her eternal home?)

But in our slumber-hours
Softly she came to us,
With gentle winds and showers,
Wayward and tyrannous;
With promises of flowers
Golden and glorious.

So like each little brother
We have beneath the snow,
Unto the mighty Mother.
A-sleeping let us go—
Till we—as they—another
Glad resurrection know!

“‘So, After All, When All is Said and Done’”

So, after all, when all is said and done,
And such is counted loss and such as gain,
For me, these many years, the tropic rain
That threshes thro’ the plumèd palms is one
With the next moment’s certitude of sun.
Indolent, without change, insurgent, vain,—
So my days follow; long have the old hopes lain
Like weeds along the road your feet have run.
Now, I know not what thing is good, what bad;
And faith and love have perished for a sign:
But, after I am dead, my troubled ghost
Some April morn shall tremble and be glad,
Hearing your child call to a child of mine
Across the Northern wood it dreams of most.

Questions and Considerations for Reflection

► “At the Gate,” the first poem above, is the opening poem in Sherman’s first collection, Matins (1896). It is significant for being characteristic of Sherman’s openness to life, his catholicity of spirit, and his declaration of the sustaining power of love. As in his much-admired early sonnet sequence “A Life,” also in the first collection, it counsels us to “rise up and live!” and “To take what all things give” (“A Life,” Matins 32). The poem is productively compared with one of Sherman’s last poems, “‘So, After All, When All is Said and Done.’” Does the early spirit inhere in the later poem, or has world-weariness settled in? Perhaps what Sherman is telling us is that triumph and loss are the twin forces of life, and that “the tropic rain / That threshes thro’ the plumèd palms is one / With the next moment’s certitude of sun” (“‘So, After All...’”). Perhaps, too, the final poem’s use of the pronoun “your” is key. Who is the “your” that the poem is addressing? Is it a literal child of the future, one of his progeny who may be reading the poem, or a more figurative child, perhaps a reader like you? All we can know for certain is that the last poem circles back to echo the first, both keeping strong that which lasts and is life affirming.

► Compare Bliss Carman’s “Low Tide on Grand Pré” with Sherman’s “A Song in August” and “The Watch.” Each poem deals with lost love and the feelings of pain that linger from departure. Carman’s poem was written after his relationship ended with a much younger woman. The two were engaged to marry but her mother broke off the engagement. The similarities in the poems bear comparison. They have similar tones and moods; their actions take place in remembrance and dream, far removed from the experience of love; and each leaves its speaker in a state of emotional distress. Have Carman and Sherman patented a formula for this kind of experience, and, if so, does it still, a century later, carry the emotional weight of broken-heartedness?

► In similar fashion, Sherman’s “A Hearth-Song” and “‘So, After All, When All is Said and Done’” invite comparison with Kay Smith’s “Old Women and Love” and “The Old in One Another’s Arms” (see Modernism and the Fredericton Ferment). Both poets are striving to say something important about old age, the so-called “dimming of the light.” It is worthwhile to compare and contrast how aging is handled by a nineteenth-century Romantic sensibility like Sherman’s and a twentieth-century modernist sensibility like Smith’s. The similarities and differences are revealing.

► The disconnect between Sherman’s great skill and accomplishment as a poet and the fact that he was virtually unknown in his day (and continues to be neglected) should give us pause to ask a few questions. In posing those questions, it is useful to consider Bliss Carman’s short poem “Envoy.” An envoy is a messenger or representative. A poem can thus be an envoy: the message of a poet. But Carman’s assumption – “Success is in the silences, / Though fame is in the song” – is only partially correct in Sherman’s case. Sherman’s lack of fame, we can agree, came from his refusal to play the part of the minstrel (he was too modest to do so, and his professional obligations as a banker didn’t allow for such whimsical public courtship) but his patient and silent toil as a poet has not brought him lasting success. The longevity of art therefore bears thinking about. Is some concession to public stagecraft necessary for artistic success? And is modesty worth the costs for artists? Sherman’s legacy seems to beg these questions.

Strategies for Teachers

Strategy 1: Pre-Raphaelites (“The House of Color”)

In this poem, Sherman draws extensively on pre-Raphaelite influences. The title and form recall Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s sonnet collection The House of Life, and the sumptuous, vibrant palette evokes pre-Raphaelite artistic works. Read Sherman’s poem aloud once or twice, asking students to visualize the scene being described. Then, display several examples of pre-Raphaelite art, such as the pieces linked below:

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, painting.
William Holman Hunt, painting.
William Morris, textile.

Several teaching strategies are presented below. Each may stand on its own, or they can be combined.

  1. Ask students to identify similarities between the visual and the written art. What adjectives could be used to describe both the poem and the paintings/textiles? Can students find other images (paintings, comic panels, pages from a decorating magazine, etc.) that have the same feel or atmosphere as this poem? Alternatively, can they find images that evoke a contrasting mood? For the students, are words or images more effective at conveying emotional states? (This, of course, will segue smoothly into a discussion of whether their own culture is predominantly “visual” or “textual.”)
  2. Instead of showing examples of only pre-Raphaelite art, show examples of other Bohemian artistic movements (for example, the Belle Epoque, the Rive Gauche, or the Beats), and challenge students to identify which Sherman might have found interesting, explaining the connections they see between the written and visual art. (Clarify that there are indeed connections among movements, and this is not an exercise to see if they can get the “right” answer. Rather, it’s an exercise to explore relationships between texts.)
  3. Ask students to look around their classroom: if they had to pick a colour or colours to represent the room, what would those colours be? Likewise for the gym? Their living room? Hospital? Their neighbourhood? Can they think of a place, indoors or outdoors, institutional or private, real or imaginary, that has such rich colour and texture as Sherman’s poem? And at what times of day and year are they drawn to that place?
  4. Sherman’s writing draws on pre-Raphaelite influences, while also being startlingly original and varied. Studying this poem provides an excellent opportunity to start a discussion about the often-misunderstood nature of originality. Original writing does not and cannot spring out of nowhere. It engages with a long tradition, even if only to reject that tradition. Ask students to think of an example of some fashion design, consumer product, film shot, or other item that is truly original; that is, without precedent. Then, challenge them over the next week to delve into what influenced that configuration or design: what might have inspired the creator, and how did he/she transform his/her influences into something novel?

Key Stage Curriculum Outcomes:

  • Reading and Viewing: Note the relationship of specific elements of a particular text to elements of other texts
  • Speaking and Listening: Respond to a wide range of complex questions and directions

Strategy 2: Gold (“The House of Color,” “A Road Song in May,” “A Song in August,” “A Hearth-Song”)

The word “gold” and its variations appear in half of the poems in this selection of Sherman. Gold and other rich colours such as scarlet are also common in pre-Raphaelite poetry, often signifying that which is magisterial, imperial, or elemental. After identifying the poems in this strategy, ask students to discuss, in small groups or as a whole class, the things, places, and concepts they associate with the colour gold. How do those associations affect how they read and understand the poem(s)? Do students with different associations – for example, students who associate gold with divinity versus students who associate gold with wealth – understand the poem(s) differently? Ask students to reread the poem(s) after that discussion; how did the discussion change or enrich their interpretation?

Key Stage Curriculum Outcomes:

  • Speaking and Listening: Examine others’ ideas and synthesize what is helpful to clarify and expand on their own understanding

Strategy 3: Cycles of Life (“A Hearth-Song”)

Many of Sherman’s poems mention specific months or seasons, those often connected to life stages and/or emotional states. “A Hearth-Song” follows a literary tradition that dates back to at least Ovid, where spring embodies childhood, summer youth, autumn middle age, and winter old age. As is suggested in this poem, however, those associations (seasons with life stages) tend to be made and understood by those of advanced age, for, from the personal experience of the speaker, the young believe their season “could never pass.” This discrepancy in understanding invites the following discussion topics:

  1. Does the speaker’s memory of youthful indifference correspond with the students' experience, or has it become distorted with age?
  2. In what ways might understanding our lives as a natural cycle be uplifting? Unsettling? Does our age affect our perspective on this question?
  3. Many areas of the world do not have four pronounced seasons like we do in New Brunswick. What might be used as a metaphor for the life cycle in regions that have a wet and a dry season, for example? To what extent does our natural environment in New Brunswick shape not only our activities, but the way we think and feel? (Comparison to the sonnets of Charles G.D. Roberts would be useful here.)

Key Stage Curriculum Outcomes:

  • 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 4: Longing, Fright, and Comfort (All poems)

Divide the class into small groups, assigning one of Sherman’s poems to each group. Ask each group to read and discuss the poem with these questions in mind:

  1. What does the speaker long for?
  2. What, if anything, frightens the speaker?
  3. What, if anything, comforts the speaker?

Have each group share their poem and their answers with the whole class. Can students identify the common threads that tie Sherman’s poems together? Do these commonalities recall the work of other New Brunswick authors they have read?

Key Stage Curriculum Outcomes:

  • Reading and Viewing: Articulate and justify points of view about texts and text elements
  • Reading and Viewing: Note the relationship of specific elements of a particular text to elements of other texts

Further Reading

Bentley, D.M.R. “‘A Well-Wrought Clay’: Francis Sherman’s In Memorabilia Mortis.” Essays on Canadian Writing 30 (Winter 1984-5): 320−338.

Gibbs, Robert. “Francis Sherman.” Canadian Writers, 1890-1920. Ed. W.H. New. Detroit: Thomson Gale, 1990. 355−6.

Herbert, Karen. “‘A Moment Where the Path Grows Sunlighted’: Francis Sherman and the Voice of Canadian Pre-Raphaelites.” Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies 6−7 (Fall 1997/Winter 1998): 45−63.

---. “‘There Was One Thing He Could Not See’: William Morris in the Writing of Archibald Lampman and Francis Sherman.” Canadian Poetry: Study, Documents, Reviews 37 (Winter 1995): 79−99.

McGillivray, Mary B. “The Poetry of Francis Sherman.” MA thesis. Dalhousie University, 1977.

Pierce, Lorne. “A Memoir.” The Complete Poems of Francis Sherman. Ed. Lorne Pierce. Toronto: Ryerson, 1935. 1-18.

---, ed. The Complete Poems of Francis Sherman. Toronto: Ryerson, 1935. Rpt. An Acadian Easter: The Complete Poems of Francis Sherman. [Ed. Raymond Souster.] Nepean, ON: Tecumseh (Borealis), 1999.

Roberts, Charles G.D. A Foreword. The Complete Poems of Francis Sherman. Ed. Lorne Pierce. Toronto: Ryerson, 1935. 19-28.

Rossetti, Christina. “Rest.” Poetry Archive. 14 July 2020

For much more detailed primary and secondary source bibliographies of Sherman, see his New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia entry.


The poems 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 appears in The Complete Poems of Francis Sherman. Ed. Lorne Pierce. Toronto: Ryerson, 1935.

All contents except for poetry and fiction copyright © Tony Tremblay, James W. Johnson, and Alexandra Cogswell.