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Notes and Commentaries

Volume 01, Number 2 (1976)

A Commentary on the Opening Lines of E. J. Pratt's Towards The Last Spike

  • Tom Middlebro'
May 22, 2008
June 6, 1976


E. J. Pratt's narrative poem Towards The Last Spike is modelled on the documentary. In this it is unlike either the dramatic Titanic, with its scenes of marine rhetoric and informal conversation interspersed with passages of objective description, or the Virgilian epic Brebeuf And His Brethren. Towards The Last Spike opens with a consideration of the human place in nature, a theme developed through images of transportation and communication, that cable together the general and the specific.