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Selected Poetry of Raymond Knister (1899-1932)


from Representative Poetry On-line
Prepared by members of the Department of English at the University of Toronto
from 1912 to the present and published by the University of Toronto Press from 1912 to 1967.
RPO Edited by Ian Lancashire
A UTEL (University of Toronto English Library) Edition
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries
© 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto

Index to poems

Turn under, plow,
My trouble;
Turn under griefs
And stubble.
        (Plowman's Song, 1-4)
  1. Change
  2. Plowman's Song
  3. The Quiet Snow
  4. Reverie: The Orchard on the Slope


Notes on Life and Works

Novelist, short-story writer, and poet, John Raymond Knister was born in 1899 at Ruscomb, near Stoney Point, Lake St. Clair, where he drowned while swimming in August 1932. He left his widow Myrtle Gamble and a daughter Imogen Givens. Educated at Victoria College, University of Toronto, and Iowa State University, Knister made a sparse living first on his father's farm near Blenheim, Ontario, and then as a journalist, man of letters, and editorial staff member of Ryerson Press. He lived in Chicago, Toronto, Hanlan's Point, Port Dover, and Montreal. His two published novels are White Narcissus (1929) and My Star Predominant, the latter about the last years of the John Keats. Knister edited Canadian Short Stories in 1928. It was left to others to collect and publish his imagistic poetry: Dorothy Livesay in Collected Poems (1949), and David Arnason in Raymond Knister: Poems, Stories, and Essays (1975). Anne Burke published Raymond Knister: An Annotated Bibliography in 1981.

Biographical information

Given name: Raymond
Family name: Knister
Birth date: 1899
Death date: 1932