E. J. Pratt Poems

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E. J. Pratt
Edwin John Dove Pratt, FRSC (February 4, 1882 April 26, 1964), who published as E. J. Pratt, was a Canadian poet from Newfoundland. Born in Western Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, Pratt grew up in a variety of Newfoundland communities in Newfoundland, as his Methodist minister father was posted to various communities around the colony. Pratt himself was also ordained as a Methodist minister, but never served in the church. He married Viola Whitney Pratt, herself a writer, and they had one daughter, Claire Pratt, who also became a writer and poet. Pratt studied psychology at the University of Toronto, and taught psychology and English literature at Victoria College until 1953. His first published work as a poet appeared in 1914, but his first memorable collection was 1923's Newfoundland Verse. Pratt ultimately became the foremost Canadian poet of the early twentieth century, winning Governor General's Awards in 1937, 1940 and 1952. He was elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 1930, was awarded the Society's Lorne Pierce Medal in 1940, and was editor of Canadian Poetry Magazine from 1936 to 1943. Pratt's work often drew from Canadian and Newfoundland history. A library at the University of Toronto currently bears his name, as does the University's E.J. Pratt Medal for poetry. Winners of the award include Margaret Atwood in 1961 and Michael Ondaatje in 1966.

sea-gulls
 
 
For one carved instant as they flew,
The language had no simile --
Silver, crystal, ivory... [read poem]
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