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Leaving the Shade of the Middle Ground

The Poetry of F.R. Scott

Afterword by George Elliott Clarke
By F.R. Scott
Edited by Laura Moss
Subjects Poetry, Literary Criticism, Canadian Literature
Series Laurier Poetry Hide Details
Paperback : 9781554583676, 80 pages, September 2011
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781554583782, 80 pages, April 2013

Table of contents

Table of Contents for Leaving the Shade of the Middle Ground: The Poetry of F.R. Scott, selected with an introduction by Laura Moss
Foreword | Neil Besner
Biographical Note
Introduction | Laura Moss
Laurentian Shield
My Amoeba Is Unaware
A Grain of Rice
Incident at May Pond
Trans Canada
To Certain Friends
Social Notes I, 1932
Social Notes II, 1935
Lest We Forget
For R.A.S. 1925–1943
The Canadian Social Register
The Canadian Authors Meet
Bonne Entente
Brébeuf and His Brethren
All the Spikes But the Last
Saturday Sundae
A Lass in Wonderland
Picture in “Life”
On Kanbawza Road
On the Death of Gandhi
For Bryan Priestman
Last Rites
Ushering in the Quiet Revolution
Fort Smith
A New City: E3
On Saying Goodbye to My Room in Chancellor Day Hall
Villanelle for Our Time
Afterword: Reading “Canon” Scott’s Canon | George Elliot Clarke


Leaving the Shade of the Middle Ground contains thirty-five of F.R. Scott’s poems from across the five decades of his career. Scott’s artistic responses to a litany of social problems, as well as his emphasis on nature and landscapes, remain remarkably relevant. Scott weighed in on many issues important to Canadians today, using different terms, perhaps, but with no less urgency than we feel now: biopolitics, neoliberalism, environmental concerns, genetic modification, freedom of speech, civil rights, human rights, and immigration. Scott is best remembered for “The Canadian Authors Meet,” “W.L.M.K,” and “Laurentian Shield,” but his poetic oeuvre includes significant occasional poems, elegies, found poems, and pointed satires. This selection of poems showcases the politics, the humour, and the beauty of this central modernist figure.
The introduction by Laura Moss and the afterword by George Elliott Clarke provide two distinct approaches to reading Scott’s work: in the contexts of Canadian modernism and of contemporary literary history, respectively.


Scott's poetry humbly argues for a place on our shelves for a Canadian political poetry that is large enough to avoid the petty debate on specifics, yet particular enough not to lose local force.

- Andrew Vaisius, Prairie Fire Review of Books, Vol. 12, No. 3, 2012, 2012 October