Introduction to The Selected Poems of E.J. Pratt: A Hypertext Edition

This site has been designed to supplement the print edition of the Selected Poems of E.J. Pratt, edited by Sandra Djwa, W.J. Keith, and Zailig Pollock (University of Toronto Press 1998).

It contains:

At the bottom of this home page you will see a Title Index. Clicking on any of the titles in the index will take you to the appropriate poem page.

This site is best viewed with Netscape 3.0 or higher.

Poem Pages

Each poem page consists of 3 frames distinguished from one another by background colour:

1. Top Frame (blue background)
It consists of:

Clicking on the sea-gull icon will get you to the Title Index.

Clicking on the title will get you to the beginning of the poem.

Clicking on the date of composition will get you to the relevant entry in the timeline.

2. Middle Frame (white background)
It contains the text of the poem linked to annotations.

3. Bottom Frame (grey background)
Depending on the link activated, either the timeline or the annotations appear in this frame.

Timeline: The timeline appears in the bottom frame when you open a Poem Page. The timeline consists of a chronological listing of information about Pratt's life and works. Each entry (or set of entries from the same period) is preceded by a date or range of dates. Where possible, the exact date is given, but, in some cases, dates may be no more specific than a year, or even several years. The timeline contains numerous illustrations (photographs, drawings, paintings, certificates, programmes, maps, etc.) as well as audio-recordings of Pratt's readings, commentaries, and reminiscences.

Annotations: As in the print version of the Selected Poems the annotations in the hypertext edition explain obscure terms and references. However, they do much more: they are intended to establish a context for informed interpretation even in cases where the poems present no obvious difficulties. Part of this context is the literary traditions within which Pratt worked. Thus, particularly significant formal features of the poems are noted, as well as sources, allusions, influences, models, etc. Relevant information concerning Pratt's life and times is also provided, and parallels are drawn with his other writings, including his letters. In addition to containing much more textual material than is possible in the print version, the hypertext annotations, like the timeline, include illustrations and audio-recordings.

NOTE: All three frames are adjustable in size, so that if, for example, you are interested in browsing through the timeline or the annotations without immediately referring back to the text, you can temporarily enlarge the bottom frame to fill the screen.

The following icons are used in the timeline and the annotations:




audio recordings

return to the timeline

return to the annotations

If you are interested in an introduction to the The Complete Poems and the Complete Letters of E.J. Pratt: A Hypertext Edition, click here.

The Pratt Project is very much in progress. If you have any comments or suggestions concerning these annotations or The Complete Poems and the Complete Letters of E.J. Pratt: A Hypertext Edition please e-mail them to Zailig Pollock (

Title Index

The Baritone
Before an Altar
Brébeuf and His Brethren
Come Away, Death
Come Not the Seasons Here
The Drowning
The Fog
From Stone to Steel
The Good Earth
The Ground Swell
The Highway
The Ice-Floes
The Iron Door
The Man and the Machine
The Prize Cat
The Sea-Cathedral
The Shark
The Titanic
The Toll of the Bells
Towards the Last Spike
The Truant
The Witches' Brew