Isabella Valancy Crawford

(25 December 1850 – 12 February 1887 / Dublin, Ireland)

Isabella Valancy Crawford
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Isabella Valancy Crawford was an Irish-born Canadian writer and poet. She was one of the first Canadians to make a living as a freelance writer."

Crawford is increasingly being viewed as Canada’s first major poet." She is the author of "Malcolm's Katie," a poem that has achieved "a central place in the canon of nineteenth-century Canadian poetry."


She was the last surviving daughter of Dr. Stephen Crawford. She was born in Dublin, Ireland on Christmas Day, 1850. The family emigrated to Canada when she was five years of age.

Much of Isabella Crawford's early life is unknown; "so little remains of the usual ... more »

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Best Poem of Isabella Valancy Crawford

The Canoe

My masters twain made me a bed
Of pine-boughs resinous, and cedar;
Of moss, a soft and gentle breeder
Of dreams of rest; and me they spread
With furry skins, and laughing said,
'Now she shall lay her polish'd sides,
As queens do rest, or dainty brides,
Our slender lady of the tides!'

My masters twain their camp-soul lit,
Streamed incense from the hissing cones,
Large, crimson flashes grew and whirl'd
Thin, golden nerves of sly light curl'd
Round the dun camp, and rose faint zones,
Half way about each grim bole knit,
Like a shy child that would ...

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