Analysis Of The Poem ' Said The Canoe '

920 WordsNov 22, 20154 Pages
Isabella Crawford’s, “Said the Canoe”, identifies her as one with radical intentions to challenge the expected behaviour of women and broaden the way they were seen in society by presenting them in a socially unacceptable manner. This essay will consider how Crawford’s education, upbringing, perception of society, use of metaphor in this poem specifically, and writing style culminated in her creating this poem, which prompted women to later be seen in outside the Victorian stereotype. English literary scholar, Fred Cogswell, goes as far as calling Crawford a feminist in his essay, “Feminism in Isabella Valency Crawford’s “Said the Canoe”. Alternatively, for the purpose of this essay, I will not be labelling Crawford a feminist as the term was not yet established when the poem was written. However, I will be using Cogswell’s essay to support the argument of Crawford advocating for women’s rights. Literature in the nineteenth century was notably written for informative purposes. The establishment of three colleges in Toronto; King’s, Trinity, and St. Michael’s (167 Klinck), coupled with the rise of nationalism after Confederation (169 Klinck) sparked the belief that poetry should be used to celebrate Canada and affirm the new nation’s identity (167 Klinck). Additionally, University of Toronto professor, Daniel Wilson, felt that poets should write things “as they are” instead of as a romanticized interpretation (168 Klinck); contradicting Crawford’s work which used a,

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