Tom McInnes

(29 October 1867 — 11 February 1951 / Ontario)

Tom McInnes
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Thomas Robert Edward MacInnes (né McInnes) (October 29, 1867 — February 11, 1951) was a Canadian poet and writer whose writings ranged from "vigorous, slangy recollections of the Yukon gold rush" (Lonesome Bar, 1909) to "a translation of and commentary on Lao-tzu’s philosophy" (The Teaching of the Old Boy, 1927). His narrative verse was highly popular in his lifetime.

He was born Thomas Robert Edward McInnes in Dresden, Ontario. He moved to New Westminster with his family in 1874, and grew up there. His father, Thomas Robert McInnes, served in the Canadian Senate from 1881 to 1897, and as Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia from 1897 until 1900. ... more »

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Best Poem of Tom McInnes


ON a queer, queer journey
I heard the queerest sound,–
'Twas the Devil with a banjo
In a cavern underground,
Where the merry, merry skeletons
Were waltzing round and round,
While the clicking of their bones kept time.

Through a low, iron door,
With a huge iron bar,
A door perchance some careless
Imp had left ajar,

I crept behind a column cut
All out of Iceland spar,
And the carven angles twinkled frostily.

I was frightened of the Devil,
And I wouldn't look at him,
But I watched a thousand ...

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