Ottawa is the capital city of Canada. It stands on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of southern Ontario. Ottawa borders Gatineau, Quebec; as of 2016, Ottawa had a city population of 964,743 and a metropolitan population of 1,323,783 making it the fourth-largest city and the fifth-largest CMA in Canada. Founded in 1826 as Bytown, incorporated as Ottawa in 1855, the city has evolved into the political centre of Canada, its original boundaries were expanded through numerous annexations and were replaced by a new city incorporation and amalgamation in 2001 which increased its land area. The city name "Ottawa" was chosen in reference to the Ottawa River, the name of, derived from the Algonquin Odawa, meaning "to trade". Ottawa has the most educated population among Canadian cities and is home to a number of post-secondary and cultural institutions, including the National Arts Centre, the National Gallery, numerous national museums. Ottawa has the highest standard of living in low unemployment.
With the draining of the Champlain Sea around ten thousand years ago, the Ottawa Valley became habitable. Local populations used the area for wild edible harvesting, fishing, trade and camps for over 6500 years; the Ottawa river valley has archaeological sites with arrow heads and stone tools. Three major rivers meet within Ottawa, making it an important trade and travel area for thousands of years; the Algonquins called the Ottawa River Kichi Sibi or Kichissippi meaning "Great River" or "Grand River". Étienne Brûlé regarded as the first European to travel up the Ottawa River, passed by Ottawa in 1610 on his way to the Great Lakes. Three years Samuel de Champlain wrote about the waterfalls in the area and about his encounters with the Algonquins, using the Ottawa River for centuries. Many missionaries would follow the early traders; the first maps of the area used the word Ottawa, derived from the Algonquin word adawe, to name the river. Philemon Wright, a New Englander, created the first settlement in the area on 7 March 1800 on the north side of the river, across from the present day city of Ottawa in Hull.
He, with five other families and twenty-five labourers, set about to create an agricultural community called Wrightsville. Wright pioneered the Ottawa Valley timber trade by transporting timber by river from the Ottawa Valley to Quebec City. Bytown, Ottawa's original name, was founded as a community in 1826 when hundreds of land speculators were attracted to the south side of the river when news spread that British authorities were constructing the northerly end of the Rideau Canal military project at that location; the following year, the town was named after British military engineer Colonel John By, responsible for the entire Rideau Waterway construction project. The canal's military purpose was to provide a secure route between Montreal and Kingston on Lake Ontario, bypassing a vulnerable stretch of the St. Lawrence River bordering the state of New York that had left re-supply ships bound for southwestern Ontario exposed to enemy fire during the War of 1812. Colonel By set up military barracks on the site of today's Parliament Hill.
He laid out the streets of the town and created two distinct neighbourhoods named "Upper Town" west of the canal and "Lower Town" east of the canal. Similar to its Upper Canada and Lower Canada namesakes "Upper Town" was predominantly English speaking and Protestant whereas "Lower Town" was predominantly French and Catholic. Bytown's population grew to 1,000 as the Rideau Canal was being completed in 1832. Bytown encountered some impassioned and violent times in her early pioneer period that included Irish labour unrest that attributed to the Shiners' War from 1835 to 1845 and political dissension evident from the 1849 Stony Monday Riot. In 1855 Bytown was incorporated as a city. William Pittman Lett was installed as the first city clerk guiding it through 36 years of development. On New Year's Eve 1857, Queen Victoria, as a symbolic and political gesture, was presented with the responsibility of selecting a location for the permanent capital of the Province of Canada. In reality, Prime Minister John A. Macdonald had assigned this selection process to the Executive Branch of the Government, as previous attempts to arrive at a consensus had ended in deadlock.
The "Queen's choice" turned out to be the small frontier town of Ottawa for two main reasons: Firstly, Ottawa's isolated location in a back country surrounded by dense forest far from the Canada–US border and situated on a cliff face would make it more defensible from attack. Secondly, Ottawa was midway between Toronto and Kingston and Montreal and Quebec City. Additionally, despite Ottawa's regional isolation it had seasonal water transportation access to Montreal over the Ottawa River and to Kingston via the Rideau Waterway. By 1854 it had a modern all season Bytown and Prescott Railway that carried passengers and supplies the 82-kilometres to Prescott on the Saint Lawrence River and beyond. Ottawa's small size, it was thought, would make it less prone to rampaging politically motivated mobs, as had happened in the previous Canadian capitals; the government owned the land that would become Parliament Hill which they thought would be an ideal location for the Parliament Buildings. Ottawa was th
A poet is a person who creates poetry. Poets may be described as such by others. A poet may be a writer of poetry, or may perform their art to an audience; the work of a poet is one of communication, either expressing ideas in a literal sense, such as writing about a specific event or place, or metaphorically. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, have produced works that vary in different cultures and periods. Throughout each civilization and language, poets have used various styles that have changed through the course of literary history, resulting in a history of poets as diverse as the literature they have produced. In Ancient Rome, professional poets were sponsored by patrons, wealthy supporters including nobility and military officials. For instance, Gaius Cilnius Maecenas, friend to Caesar Augustus, was an important patron for the Augustan poets, including both Horace and Virgil. Poets held an important position in pre-Islamic Arabic society with the poet or sha'ir filling the role of historian and propagandist.
Words in praise of the tribe and lampoons denigrating other tribes seem to have been some of the most popular forms of early poetry. The sha'ir represented an individual tribe's prestige and importance in the Arabian peninsula, mock battles in poetry or zajal would stand in lieu of real wars.'Ukaz, a market town not far from Mecca, would play host to a regular poetry festival where the craft of the sha'irs would be exhibited. In the High Middle Ages, troubadors were an important class of poets and came from a variety of backgrounds, they lived and travelled in many different places and were looked upon as actors or musicians as much as poets. They were under patronage, but many travelled extensively; the Renaissance period saw a continuation of patronage of poets by royalty. Many poets, had other sources of income, including Italians like Dante Aligheri, Giovanni Boccaccio and Petrarch's works in a pharmacist's guild and William Shakespeare's work in the theater. In the Romantic period and onwards, many poets were independent writers who made their living through their work supplemented by income from other occupations or from family.
This included poets such as Robert Burns. Poets such as Virgil in the Aeneid and John Milton in Paradise Lost invoked the aid of a Muse. Poets of earlier times were well read and educated people while others were to a large extent self-educated. A few poets such as John Gower and John Milton were able to write poetry in more than one language; some Portuguese poets, as Francisco de Sá de Miranda, wrote not only in Portuguese but in Spanish. Jan Kochanowski wrote in Polish and in Latin, France Prešeren and Karel Hynek Mácha wrote some poems in German, although they were poets of Slovenian and Czech respectively. Adam Mickiewicz, the greatest poet of Polish language, wrote a Latin ode for emperor Napoleon III. Another example is a Polish poet; when he moved to Great Britain, he ceased to write poetry in Polish, but started writing novel in English. He translated poetry from English and into English. Many universities offer degrees in creative writing though these only came into existence in the 20th century.
While these courses are not necessary for a career as a poet, they can be helpful as training, for giving the student several years of time focused on their writing. List of poets Bard Lyricist Reginald Gibbons, The Poet's Work: 29 poets on the origins and practice of their art. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226290546 at Google Books Poets' Graves
Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border, its capital is Ottawa, its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra, its population is urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. Canada's climate varies across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons. Various indigenous peoples have inhabited what is now Canada for thousands of years prior to European colonization. Beginning in the 16th century and French expeditions explored, settled, along the Atlantic coast.
As a consequence of various armed conflicts, France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces; this began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament. Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy in the Westminster tradition, with Elizabeth II as its queen and a prime minister who serves as the chair of the federal cabinet and head of government; the country is a realm within the Commonwealth of Nations, a member of the Francophonie and bilingual at the federal level. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, education.
It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many other countries. Canada's long and complex relationship with the United States has had a significant impact on its economy and culture. A developed country, Canada has the sixteenth-highest nominal per capita income globally as well as the twelfth-highest ranking in the Human Development Index, its advanced economy is the tenth-largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks. Canada is part of several major international and intergovernmental institutions or groupings including the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the G7, the Group of Ten, the G20, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. While a variety of theories have been postulated for the etymological origins of Canada, the name is now accepted as coming from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata, meaning "village" or "settlement".
In 1535, indigenous inhabitants of the present-day Quebec City region used the word to direct French explorer Jacques Cartier to the village of Stadacona. Cartier used the word Canada to refer not only to that particular village but to the entire area subject to Donnacona. From the 16th to the early 18th century "Canada" referred to the part of New France that lay along the Saint Lawrence River. In 1791, the area became two British colonies called Upper Canada and Lower Canada collectively named the Canadas. Upon Confederation in 1867, Canada was adopted as the legal name for the new country at the London Conference, the word Dominion was conferred as the country's title. By the 1950s, the term Dominion of Canada was no longer used by the United Kingdom, which considered Canada a "Realm of the Commonwealth"; the government of Louis St. Laurent ended the practice of using'Dominion' in the Statutes of Canada in 1951. In 1982, the passage of the Canada Act, bringing the Constitution of Canada under Canadian control, referred only to Canada, that year the name of the national holiday was changed from Dominion Day to Canada Day.
The term Dominion was used to distinguish the federal government from the provinces, though after the Second World War the term federal had replaced dominion. Indigenous peoples in present-day Canada include the First Nations, Métis, the last being a mixed-blood people who originated in the mid-17th century when First Nations and Inuit people married European settlers; the term "Aboriginal" as a collective noun is a specific term of art used in some legal documents, including the Constitution Act 1982. The first inhabitants of North America are hypothesized to have migrated from Siberia by way of the Bering land bridge and arrived at least 14,000 years ago; the Paleo-Indian archeological sites at Old Crow Flats and Bluefish Caves are two of the oldest sites of human habitation in Canada. The characteristics of Canadian indigenous societies included permanent settlements, complex societal hierarchies, trading networks; some of these cultures had collapsed by the time European explorers arrived in the late 15th and early 16th centuries and have only been discovered through archeological investigations.
The indigenous population at the time of the first European settlements is estimated to have been between 200,000
Trent University is a public university in Peterborough, with a satellite campus in Oshawa, which serves the Regional Municipality of Durham. Trent is known for its Oxbridge college system and small class sizes; the university was founded through the efforts of a citizens' committee interested in creating a university to serve the City of Peterborough and the surrounding counties, was created by the Trent University Act, 1962-63. The committee recruited Dean Thomas H. B. Symons of the University of Toronto to serve as chair of the academic planning committee and Symons became the university's first president; the Symons campus of Trent, named after founding president Thomas Symons is located on the banks of the Otonabee River just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto. It is divided into a series of colleges: Champlain, Lady Eaton, Catharine Parr Traill and Peter Gzowski; each college has its own residence hall, dining room, student government. The Symons campus plan and the original college buildings, including Champlain College, Lady Eaton College, Bata Library and the Faryon bridge which spans the Otonabee, were designed by Canadian architect Ron Thom.
Close to 7,800 undergraduate students and nearly 500 graduate students are enrolled at the Peterborough campus while Trent University Durham GTA serves over 1,200 full and part-time students at the campus on Thornton Road in Oshawa. The university is represented in Canadian Interuniversity Sport by the Trent Excalibur. Although Trent University is predominantly undergraduate, graduate programs are offered at the master's and doctoral level. Trent University came about as a result of a community discussion in 1957 about the possibility of opening a post-secondary institution in the Trent Valley; the campaign for a post-secondary institution in Peterborough coincided with the Ontario government's policy of creating new universities and expanding existing institutions to respond to population pressure and the belief that higher education was a key to social justice and economic productivity for individuals and for society. In 1963 Trent University was founded as a non-denominational, public institution in downtown Peterborough, Ontario, It was established as a provincial university under the Trent University Act of 1963.
In fall 1964, the university welcomed its first students to the new campus, consisting of three refurbished older buildings in central Peterborough: Rubidge Hall, Catherine Parr Traill College for women, Peter Robinson College for men. The governor general, Georges Vanier opened Trent University in 1964; that year there were about 100 students attending the university. Modelled on the provincial University of Toronto Act of 1906, Trent established a bicameral system consisting of a senate, responsible for academic policy, a board of governors exercising exclusive control over financial policy and having formal authority in all other matters; the president, appointed by the board, was to provide a link between the two bodies and to perform institutional leadership. Canadian General Electric, a major industrial employer in Peterborough, donated a 100-acre parcel of land along the Otonabee and other lands were subsequently acquired on both sides of the river to serve as the site of the university's permanent campus.
The CGE donation included a functioning hydroelectric power plant dating from the 1890s, which still generates a substantial portion of the university's electricity and produces income for the university. Trent owns 50% of the power plant along with Peterborough Utilities Group owning the remaining 50%; the university's Geography Department was set up in 1968, in 1969 the university offered Canada's first Native Studies program. In 2017 Trent announced Innovation Park; that year the university enrolled about 3.500 new students. This college was named after biologist Catharine Parr Traill, it is the only Trent college is the oldest remaining college. It serves as the base for the undergraduate departments of English, Cultural Studies, Canadian Studies and Modern Languages. Five graduate programs call the college home including Public Texts, Theory and Politics, Cultural Studies and the Frost Centre for Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies. Traill College is the home of Trent University's Continuing Education program.
Traill College consists of Wallis Crawford Houses, which are residential. The university owned Bradburn and Langton House but both properties were sold to the Peterborough Housing Corporation in 2009; the property was sold to Hospice Peterborough in 2012 and will to be turned into a residential hospice. In fall 1999, an in-house task force recommended closing the college as a cost-saving measure, which led to a flurry of protest and a successful campaign to save Traill. In 2008, it was converted to a centre of graduate studies. In 2016, an external presidential review of the college was ordered, it recommended that Traill return to is roots as a more "traditional" college and expand its services and reach into the local community. Located on Symons Campus along the Otonabee River, this college was opened in 1967, it is named after the early 17th century explorer Samuel de Champlain, who explored the Otonabee area in 1615 and founded Quebec City in 1608 and whose sword is featured in the Trent crest.
It served as an all-male residence, along with Peter Robinson College. The college is home
Sackville, New Brunswick
Sackville is a town in southeastern New Brunswick, Canada. It is home to Mount Allison University, a undergraduate liberal arts university. Based on agriculture and manufacturing, the economy is now driven by the university and tourism. Part of the French colony of Acadia, the settlement became part of the British colony of Nova Scotia in 1755 following the Expulsion of the Acadians. Present-day Sackville is in the Mi’kmaq district of Siknikt, which comprised Cumberland and part of Albert counties; the Mi’kmaq settlement, was on Fort Beausejour Ridge and Tatamalg or Tantama, on the Sackville Ridge. Many regional toponyms are Mi’kmaq including Tidnish, Missaguash River, Aboushagan Road, Midgic and Shemogue. A portage connected Beaubassin by way of Westcock and the valley now known as Frosty Hollow with the Memramcook and Petitcodiac rivers and was an important link in the communications system between Acadia and Quebec; the first Acadians arrived in the early 1670s, as the French colony expanded from its base at Port Royal.
Many of the Acadians came from the west of France and were experienced in reclaiming from the sea lowlands that might be made arable. The Tantramar Marshes were well suited to this, the Acadians built a system of dykes and sluices that allowed them to cultivate the marshes. Surveyor Charles Morris visited in 1748, reported Acadian settlements at Westcock. Farther afield, there were settlements at La Planche and Baie Verte for a total population of about 3,000. Settlements were separated by marsh. A seaport at Westcock provided a link to Port Royal; the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 had ceded Acadia to England, but without specifying where the boundary was between Acadia and what remained of New France. This led to ongoing skirmishes until June 1755 when, as part of a wider struggle of the British and French of North American colonies, the French were defeated at the Battle of Beausejour; this led to the removal of most of the French military from Acadia. Six weeks Governor Charles Lawrence, without distinguishing between neutral Acadians and those who had resisted the British, wrote that the Acadians "shall be removed out of the country as soon as possible, as to those about the isthmus who were in arms and therefore entitled to no favour from the government it is determined to begin with them first".
This marked the beginning of the expulsion of the Acadians. They were only allowed to take with them their ready money and household furniture, their buildings were burned to the ground. Following the expulsion of the Acadians the British needed to repopulate the colony; the first wave of immigration was the New England Planters who were invited and encouraged with land grants. The Sackville area was abandoned for six years after the expulsion of the Acadians until 1761 when 25 families from Rhode Island settled on the vacated Acadian farms, followed in 1763 by a group of 13 from Swansea, who formed the first Baptist church in Canada, but subsequently returned to New England. In 1763 the population was 20 families on 200 acres of cleared upland, marshlands. A 1767 census gives the population of which 343 Americans; the Sackville Township, named for Viscount Sackville, was formally created in 1765 and by 1772 was sufficiently populated to send representative to the Nova Scotia House of Assembly.
The Yorkshire Emigration lasted about three years. They arrived too late to occupy the vacated Acadian farms, granted to the New Englanders; however many New Englanders did not stay, sold the land on to the British immigrants. When the American War of Independence broke out in 1775, many of the American settlers in the area were sympathetic with the Americans, rebels led by Jonathan Eddy laid siege to Fort Cumberland; however the rebels were repelled by soldiers, with help from the Yorkshire settlers who remained loyal to the crown. When the war was over, United Empire Loyalists, emigrated north, some to the Sackville area. By 1786 there were 60 families in the township. By the 1830s tanneries, leather goods factories, carriage factories and blacksmith shops were active around Morice Mill Pond a few kilometres north of the current town centre; the centre of activity started to shift to the present downtown area when in 1836 William Crane moved his business to the site of the former town hall, built his house across the street.
He donated land for a small Methodist chapel, built in 1838 and evolved into the much larger Sackville Methodist/United Church. In 1839, Charles Frederick Allison donated money and land to establish the Mount Allison Wesleyan Academy, which became Mount Allison University; this was followed by the development of shipyards on the Tantramar River. Official records for shipbuilding in New Brunswick began in 1824, but by that time shipbuilding was well under way with several ships of over 100 tons having been built. In 1862 there was a shipyard at the site of the current railway station, another to the east at Dixon's Landing at the end of Landing Road. A public wharf was built there by local merchants in 1840-41; the shopkeepers were looking to import products and export staples such as lumber and building stones. In the 1870s, a spur line connecting the Intercolonial Railway to the wharf was built. Shipbuil
Mount Allison University
Mount Allison University is a undergraduate Canadian liberal arts and science university located in Sackville, New Brunswick. It has been ranked the top undergraduate university in the country 20 times in the past 28 years by Maclean's magazine, a record unmatched by any other university. With a 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio, the average first-year class size is 60 and upper-year classes average 14 students. Mount Allison University was the first university in the British Empire to award a baccalaureate to a woman. Mount Allison graduates have been awarded a total of 55 Rhodes Scholarships. American chemist James B. Sumner, who won Nobel Prize in Chemistry, used to work at Mount Allison as a teaching fellow. Mount Allison has one of the largest endowments per student in Canada. Mount Allison University is a United Church-affiliated undergraduate liberal arts university, established at Sackville, New Brunswick on January 19, 1843; the university was named in honour of his gift of land and money.
Its origins were steeped in the Methodist faith and it was designed to prepare men for the ministry and to supply education for lay members. The university was chartered on April 14, 1849. There is an amusing anecdote about the family of the founder of the school, Methodist merchant, Charles Frederick Allison. Charles Allison's grandfather had emigrated from Ireland to Canada in the late 18th century because of the after effects of a dinner with the local government tax collector. Wanting to impress the man, the family had set the table with their one valuable possession: silver spoons. After entertaining their guest, the Allisons were informed by the tax collector that if they could afford silver spoons they could afford to pay more taxes; the Allisons left Ireland shortly thereafter. The offending spoons are now on display in the university library. In June 1839, Charles Allison was encouraged by Wesleyan Methodist Minister Rev. John Bass Strong that a school of elementary and higher learning be built.
Allison offered to purchase a site in Sackville to erect a suitable building for an academy and to contribute operating funds of £100 a year for 10 years. This offer was accepted and the Wesleyan Academy for boys subsequently opened in 1843. In 1854, a girls' institution was opened to complement the boys' academy. In 1858 an Act of the New Brunswick Legislature authorized the trustees to establish a degree-conferring institution at Sackville, under the name of the Mount Allison Wesleyan College. In July 1862, the degree-granting Mount Allison College was organized; the first two students, Howard Sprague and Josiah Wood, graduated in May 1863. Mount Allison was the first university in the British Empire to confer a bachelor's degree to a woman, it was the first university in Canada to grant a Bachelor of Arts to a woman. For nearly a century, Mount Allison functioned as three distinct, mutually enriching parts: the College proper, the Boys' Academy, the Ladies College; the corporate name was changed to University of Mount Allison College in 1886.
The university's affiliation was transferred to the United Church of Canada following church union in 1925. Original components of the university included: the Mount Allison Wesleyan Academy for Boys, the Ladies' College, Mount Allison College. Mount Allison College was established in 1862 with degree-granting powers on behalf of the other two; the governance was modelled on the provincial University of Toronto Act of 1906 which established a bicameral system of university government consisting of a senate, responsible for academic policy, a board of governors exercising exclusive control over financial policy and having formal authority in all other matters. The president, appointed by the board, was to provide a link between the two bodies and to perform institutional leadership. By 1920, Mount Allison University had three faculties: Arts and Engineering, it awarded the degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Divinity, Master of Arts. It had 73 female students, as well as 28 academic staff, all male.
The closure of the School for Girls in 1946 and the Boy's Academy in 1953 coincided with a period of expansion and provided much-needed space for the growing university. In 1958, a period of construction and acquisition of buildings began, easing the strain of overcrowding at the institution. At this time the university board and administration decided to reaffirm the traditional aims of Mount Allison in providing a high-quality undergraduate liberal arts education, along with continuing to offer professional programs in already-established fields; as such, the university decided not to compete for new professional programs and avoided post-graduate course development. The policy of university education initiated in the 1960s responded to population pressure and the belief that higher education was a key to social justice and economic productivity for individuals and for society. Mount Allison University was established by the Mount Allison University Act, 1993. Mount Allison University's Arms and Badge were registered with the Canadian Heraldic Authority on November 15, 2007.
The mission statement of Mount Allison University promotes "the creation and dissemination of knowledge in a community of higher learning, centred on the undergraduate student and delivered in an intimate and harmonious environment". Mount Allison offers bachelor's degrees in Arts, Commerce, Fine Arts, Music, as well as master's degrees in biology and chemistry and biochemistry, and
John Thompson (poet)
John Thompson was an English-born, Canadian poet and university professor. He is noted for his mastery of poetic forms, which he used to express the intensity and power of images in spare and precise language evoking beauty and wonder and despair. Thompson's second and best-known book, Stilt Jack, a collection of 38 ghazals published after his death, records his poetic journeys through darkness in an uncertain quest for the light, his first collection, At the Edge of the Chopping there are no Secrets published in 1973, conveys vivid images of natural cycles of death and rebirth in the wooded and marshy landscapes of southeastern New Brunswick where an apple tree in late summer is seen as a cauldron of leaves, a charred dancer and a head of burnt hair. Thompson has been described as one of 20th century Canada's most influential poets. Periodically throughout his short life, Thompson suffered from severe mental disorders including depression and paranoia, he struggled with the alcoholism that contributed to his early death.
Other poets who influenced him, such as Dylan Thomas, Theodore Roethke and John Berryman, were afflicted in similar ways. Thompson's erratic behaviour combined with his frequent hostility to others he considered literary philistines hampered his academic career and blighted his closest personal relationships. One critic complained that some of his poems read less like "stunning epiphanies" than "crossword puzzles" because Thompson composed them while he was drinking, but others praised him for his disciplined and meticulous dedication to his poetic art. In his introduction to Stilt Jack in which he writes about ghazals, Thompson could have been describing the essential elements of his own poetry when he asserted that the form allows the imagination to move in its own natural ways: "discovering an alien design and without sense — a chart of the disorderly, against false reason and the tacking together of poor narratives, it is the poem of contrasts, astonishing leaps. The ghazal has been called'drunken and amatory' and I think it is."
John Thompson was born in Timperley, England in 1938. Following the death of his father and abandonment by his mother, he was educated at various boarding schools and the Manchester Grammar School, he received his B. A. in honours psychology from the University of Sheffield in 1958. Following two years service in the British Army intelligence corps, he studied comparative literature at Michigan State University and received his Ph. D, he studied under A. J. M. Smith and his thesis entailed the translation of poems by the French poet René Char. In 1966 he moved to Canada and taught English literature at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, his first collection of poetry, At the Edge of the Chopping there are no Secrets, received mixed reviews. This was followed by a fire that consumed his home and most of his manuscripts, he wrote the 38 poems in his second - and last - collection, Stilt Jack, while in Toronto on a sabbatical. The cause of his death at the age of 38 after Stilt Jack was completed, remains the subject of debate.
In the fall of 1975, Thompson wrote his will. At Christmas, he was hospitalized. On his release three months instead of abiding by the doctor's orders not to mix drugs and alcohol, he continued to drink steadily, he finished Stilt Jack in April. On April 24, Thompson gave the manuscript to Douglas Lochhead. After he had returned home, the tenants in the apartment cries, he was discovered pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. James Polk describes the cause of death as "a brutal mix of barbiturates and liquor." The autopsy did not provide conclusive evidence. Thompson's poems and unpublished, including his translations of French and Québécois poets, John Thompson: Collected Poems and Translations, a biographical essay by the editor, Peter Sanger, were published by Goose Lane Editions in 1995. In 2000, in The Danforth Review, Dan Reve wrote, " is a rarefied and therefore powerful form... John Thompson is to be credited with the dissemination of the ghazal in Canada, his Stilt Jack is one of literature's odd, incommensurable works of genius."
At the Edge of the Chopping there are No Secrets Stilt Jack I Dream Myself Into Being: Collected Poems, foreword by James Polk John Thompson: Collected Poems and Translations, edited by Peter Sanger Text and criticism of his translation of "Ghazal XXI". John Thompson entry in Dictionary of Literary Biography