The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry in English

By Ian Hamilton | Go to book overview

W

WADDINGTON, Miriam ( 1917- ), was born Miriam Dworkin, the daughter of Jewish- Russian immigrants, in Winnipeg Manitoba. In 1931 her family moved to Ottawa. Waddington received her BA from the University of Toronto in 1939, the year she married journalist Patrick Waddington; they had two sons. During the Second World War she published poems, stories, and reviews while studying social work at the universities of Toronto and Pennsylvania. She moved to Montreal in 1945, taught at McGill's School of Social Work, and was later a case-worker for various social organizations. In 1960 she separated from her husband and returned to Toronto, where she continued her social work and, in 1964, joined the English department of York University, where she is professor emeritus and senior scholar.

Spare and deceptively simple, and often lyrical, joyous, and humorous, the poems in Waddington's thirteen volumes--from her first collection, Green World ( 1945), to The Last Landscape ( 1992)--explore her prairie childhood, her social concerns, landscape, people, Jewish folklore, love and loss, memory and isolation, ageing and death.

Waddington has paid homage to A. M. *Klein in her 1970 monograph on him and in her edition of The Collected Poems of A. M. Klein ( 1974). Her own Collected Poems ( Toronto, 1986) is complemented by selections from her short fiction in Summer at Lonely Reach and Other Stories ( Oakville, Ont., 1982), and from her memoirs and essays in Apartment Seven ( Toronto, 1989). [DS

WAGONER. David ( 1926- ), was born in Massillon, Ohio. At Pennsylvania State University he studied under Theodore *Roethke and received his BA in 1947. Two years later he took an MA from Indiana University and subsequently taught at DePauw University for a year, 1949-50, and at Pennsylvania State for four years, 1950-4. In the latter year he went to the University of Washington in Seattle, which he has ever since maintained as his home-base and where, for many years, he edited Poetry North- West, a highly regarded quarterly.

A 1950s competence was the main feature of Wagoner's first book, Dry Sun, Dry Wind ( Bloomington, Ind., 1953). A Place to Stand ( Bloomington, 1958), went in two directions simultaneously: there was greater formality of structure, but a loosening of language giving, in certain poems, an almost jazz-like effect. The most engaging aspect of the poems in The Nesting Ground ( Bloomington, 1963) was their colloquial music. That remained true of Staying Alive ( Bloomington, 1966), and particularly of the title-poem, simultaneously a handbook about surviving in the woods and a parable about how to stay human in the process. New and Selected Poems ( Bloomington, 1969) sampled the best of these volumes.

The outdoors of the Pacific Northwest figures prominently in Wagoner's work, as in Riverbed ( Bloomington, 1972), but manifesting itself at times in poems having to do with Native Americans and their lore, such as 'Seven Songs for an Old Voice' which concludes Sleeping in the Woods ( Bloomington and London, 1974). In Who Shall Be the Sun ( Bloomington and London, 1978) Wagoner personified natural forces and gave them Indian names in his retelling of the myths of the tribes. The poems of First Light

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The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry in English
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction v
  • Selection of Anthologies xi
  • Key to Contributors xiv
  • Alphabetical List of Contributors xvii
  • A 1
  • B 28
  • C 80
  • D 113
  • E 143
  • F 156
  • G 179
  • H 206
  • I 247
  • J 251
  • K 266
  • L 284
  • M 318
  • N 375
  • O 393
  • P 407
  • Q 436
  • R 437
  • S 468
  • T 533
  • U 555
  • V 557
  • W 562
  • Y 593
  • Z 599
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