Poets of the 1940s and ’50s
in Harbour Grace.” One of h i s poems appe a r s in “Poems of Newfoundland.”
He writes eloquently about the time “ before the dawn disclosed a ruddy sun, / This island mould was set, I like to think.” Of course, his reference point is Newfoundland: “ here in its summer fields I learned to play, / To linger late and love the twilight calm, / Where time is not the measure of a day. / This is the land where strangers often find, / Who venture near, returning peace of mind.”
Joan Marie Flynn, descendant of the famous eighteenth-century magistrate Garland, was born in Harbour Grace, on July 1, 1903. She was educated at Presentation Convent and worked as stenographer with George Knowling Ltd., St. John’s. By 1953, she was married with three sons and resided in the capital city.
In her poem, Waterfront Nocturne, she writes: “Gray swells the sea beneath a brooding mist / That sends blue fingers out to coil and twist / And fade within the lamplight’s yellow ring; / The heavy tides against the low piers fling.”
Edith Mitchell was born in Freshwater, Carbonear. She was educated at her hometown and Prince of Wales College, Memorial University College, St. John’s. She taught school in Newfoundland and England, and travelled widely in Europe and America. In 1953, she was described as a housewife with one son. She was also “active in community life. Attributes fondness for poetry to a blind grandmother who came to babysit or ‘ mind-the-house’ and used to recite to children from memory.” Two of Mitchell’s poems appear in the book.
“ To John Stirling Finishing Kindergarten” won first prize. “ Good-bye, Son,” I said / “ Be good, / Have fun in school!” / And stooped to give my accustomed / Send-off kiss. / His little friend, Waiting there in the porch / Smirked, and looked half-confused. / John will be teased for this / When next they have a falling out.
Mitchell’s second poem is a reflection on “ The Jewel Shop”: Sadly I put the trays away: / I would not throw the treasures of my life and love / So flippantly aside: too often I have “cast my pearls,” I thought: / I’ll hold them close, securely locked within the strongbox / Of my mind and heart.
There are other poets featured in this collection. Cupids native Isaac Newell (1917-77) distinguished himself as the National Conven- tion delegate in White Bay 1946-48. I. A. Richards was born at Bareneed April 14, 1907. He was a teacher, journalist and civil servant. His hobbies were reading, fishing and writing poetry.
Bertille Tobin (1888-1966) was born at Harbour Grace. He taught for many years until giving up because of ill health. His hobby was writing poetry. In 1951, he published the book, “Autumn in King’s Cove and Other Poems.”