Arthur James Marshall Smith

(8 November 1902 – 21 November 1980 / Montreal)

Arthur James Marshall Smith
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Arthur James Marshall Smith was a Canadian poet and anthologist. He "was a prominent member of a group of Montreal poets" -- the Montreal Group, which included Leon Edel, Leo Kennedy, A.M. Klein, and F.R. Scott -- "who distinguished themselves by their modernism in a culture still rigidly rooted in Victorianism.

Life and Writing

Smith was born in Montreal, but lived in England from 1918 to 1920, where he "studied for the Cambridge Local Examinations, ‘and failed everything except English and history’ (he later wrote)." In England he became aware of contemporary poetry: "he frequented Harold Monroe's bookshop, then the citadel of Georgian ... more »

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Best Poem of Arthur James Marshall Smith

Political Intelligence

Nobody said Apples for nearly a minute
I thought I should die.
Finally, though, the second sardine,
from the end, on the left,
converted a try.
(It brought down the house.
The noise was terrific.
I dropped my glass eye.)

Meanwhile Mr BaIdwin
managed to make himself heard.
He looked sad
but with characteristic aplomb said
keep calm there is no cause for alarm.
Two soldiers' crutches had sexual intercourse
on the spot with a little bit of fluff
from a lint bandage in the firing chamber
of a 12 inch gun.
People agreed not to notice.
The ...

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