Born in Quebec City in 1899, F. R. Scott’s career straddled poetry, politics, socialism, and law. His sarcastic elegy to Mackenzie King mocks the longstanding prime minister’s indecisiveness, concluding:
nothing by halves
Which can be done by quarters
His later Trouvailles are bits of unintentionally funny writing “found” in newspapers or restaurant menus, and reshaped into poetry. The 1954 poem “Bonne Entente” laughs at odd juxtapositions of the sacred and the mundane:
The advantages of living with two cultures
Strike one at every turn,
Especially when one finds a notice in an office building:
‘This elevator will not run on Ascension Day’;
Or reads in the Montreal Star:
‘Tomorrow being the feast of the Immaculate Conception,
There will be no collection of garbage in the city’;
Or sees on the restaurant menu the bilingual dish:
DEEP APPLE PIE
TARTE AUX POMMES PROFONDES
Djwa, Sandra. The Politics of the Imagination: A Life of F.R. Scott. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1989.
Scott, F. R. Leaving the Shade of the Middle Ground: The Poetry of F.R. Scott. Edited by Laura Moss, with an afterword by George Elliott Clarke. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2012.