Treasure Island

Bliss William Carman

(15 April 1861 – 8 June 1929 / New Brunswick)

Biography of Bliss William Carman

Bliss William Carman poet

Bliss Carman FRSC was a Canadian poet. He was born William Bliss Carman in Fredericton, in the Maritime province of New Brunswick. He published under the name "Bliss Carman," although the "Bliss" is his mother's surname.

As with many Canadian poets, nature figures prominently as a theme in his work. In his time, he was arguably Canada's best known poet, and was dubbed by some the "unofficial poet laureate of Canada."

Bliss Carman was the great-grandson of United Empire Loyalists who fled to Nova Scotia after the American Revolution, settling in New Brunswick (then part of Nova Scotia). His literary roots run deep with an ancestry that includes a mother who was a descendant of Daniel Bliss of Concord, Massachusetts, the great-grandfather of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Also on his mother's side, he was a first cousin to another famous Canadian poet, Sir Charles G. D. Roberts. His sister was married to the botanist and historian William Francis Ganong.

Carman was educated at the University of New Brunswick, the University of Edinburgh, Harvard University and New York University. After relocating to New York City, Carman became influential as an editor and writer for the Independent, the Cosmopolitan, the Atlantic Monthly, the Chap Book and other literary journals. He is also well known for his anthology and editing work on The World's Best Poetry (10 volumes, 1904) and The Oxford Book of American Verse (1927).

After 1909, he lived in New Canaan, Connecticut but became a corresponding Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. In 1928, the Society awarded him its Lorne Pierce Medal.

Bliss Carman died at the age of 68 in New Canaan, Connecticut. His body was returned home and interred in the Forest Hill Cemetery in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

There is a middle school named after him in Fredericton, New Brunswick. There is also a school named after him in Toronto, Ontario. "Bliss Carman Heights" (an extension of the Skyline Acres subdivision) is a subdivision located in Fredericton, New Brunswick overlooking the Saint John River. It consists of Essex Street, Gloucester Crescent, Reading Street, Ascot Court, and Ascot Drive. A extension of the Bliss Carman Heights subdivision is named "Poet's Hill" and consists of Bliss Carman Drive and Poets Lane.

Bliss William Carman's Works:

* A Seamark: A Threnody for Robert Louis Stevenson. Boston: Copeland And Day, 1875.
* Low Tide on Grand Pre: A Book Of Lyrics. London: D. Nutt, 1894.
* Bliss Carman and Richard Hovey. Songs From Vagabondia. Illus. Tom B. Meteyard. Boston, Copeland and Day, 1894.
* Behind The Arras: A Book Of The Unseen. Illus. T. B. Meteyard. Boston: Lamson, Wolffe, 1895.
* Ballads of Lost Haven: A Book Of The Sea. Boston: Lamson, Wolfee, 1897.
* By The Aurelian Wall: And Other Elegies. Boston: Lamson, Wolffe, 1898.
* Bliss Carman and Richard Hovey. Last Songs From Vagabondia. Illus. Tom B. Meteyard. Boston: Small, Maynard 1901.
* Ballads and Lyrics. London, Bullen, 1902.
* Ode on the Coronation of King Edward. Boston: L. C. Page, 1902.
* From The Green Book Of The Bards. His Pipes Of Pan, No.2. Boston: L. C. Page & Company, 1903.
* From The Book Of Myths. His Pipes Of Pan, No. 1. Boston: L. C. Page, 1904.
* The Kinship Of Nature. Boston: L. C. Page & Company, 1904.
* Sappho: One Hundred Lyrics (Intro. by Charles G.D. Roberts.) Boston: L. C. Page, 1904. (Gutenberg edition) Online version
* Songs from A Northern Garden. Pipes Of Pan, Number 4. Boston: L. C. Page, 1904.
* Songs Of The Sea Children. Boston: L. C. Page, 1904.
* From The Book Of Valentines. Boston: L. C. Page, 1905.
* Poems. London: Chiswick P, 1905.
* The Poetry Of Life. Boston: L. C. Page, 1905.
* The Friendship of Art. Boston: L.C. Page, 1908.
* The Making of Personality. Boston: L. C. Page, 1908.
* The Rough Rider: And Other Poems. M. Kennedy: New York, 1909.
* Bliss Carman and Mary Perry King. Daughters Of Dawn: A Lyrical Pageant or Series Of Historic Scenes For Presentation With Music and Dancing. New York: M. Kennerley, 1913.
* Echoes From Vagabondia. Boston: Small, Maynard & Company, 1913.
* Bliss Carman and Mary Perry King. Earth Deities: And Other Rhythmic Masques. New York: M. Kennerley, 1914.
* April Airs: A Book Of New England Lyrics. Boston: Small, Maynard & Co., 1916.
* Bliss Carman and Mary Perry King. The Man of The Marne: And Other Poems. New Canaan, Conn.: Ponus P, 1918.
* Later Poems. Boston: Small, Maynard & Co., 1922.
* Bliss Carman and Richard Hovey. More Songs From Vagabondia. Illus. Tom B. Meteyard. Boston: Small, Maynard. 1924.
* Far Horizons. Toronto: M&S, 1926.
* Sanctuary: Sunshine House Sonnets. Illus. Whitman Bailey. Toronto: M&S, 1929.
* Wild Garden. Toronto: M&S, 1929.
* Bliss Carman's Poems. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1931.
* Bliss Carman's Scrap-Book: A Table Of Contents. Ed. Lorne Pierce. Toronto: Ryerson, 1931.
* Pipes Of Pan. Toronto: Ryerson, 1942.
* The Selected Poems Of Bliss Carman. Ed. Lorne Pierce. Toronto: M&S, 1954.
* A Vision Of Sappho. Toronto: Canadiana House, 1968.
* Windflower: Poems Of Bliss Carman. Ed. Raymond Souster and Douglas Lochhead. Ottawa: Tecumseh P, 1985.
* Vagabond Song. Tweed, Ont.: Bundle Buggy P, 1987.

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A Creature Catechism

I
Soul, what art thou in the tribes of the sea?


LORD, said a flying fish,
Below the foundations of storm
We feel the primal wish
Of the earth take form.

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