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Word Count: 2,246
On July 1 1867 a fledgling nation not only experienced a geopolitical birth but a cultural one as well The Confederation of the newly formed Dominion of Canada included Ontario Quebec New Brunswick and Nova Scotia With the physical and political formation of a country comes the incarnation of a certain domestic mindset and atmosphere This mindset strives to identify and subsequently express the identifying characteristics unique to the environment in question Throughout history in any nation or other culturally exclusive group forms of art such as music literature dance painting sculpture etc have served to give a voice to national identity Feeling this same need for expression of national identity Canadians turned to such art forms one of which was poetry With the emergence of several young men now known as the Confederation Poets came a voice through which our identity could be publicly formed The avenue through which our nation was to explore the realm of what makes us uniquely Canadian in the coming years was paved by these men What distinguished Confederation poets from other poets of their time was this deeper awareness of the spirit residing mutually in the landscape and the self and consequently their attempt to create a locality in their poems that would truly reflect the spirit of the place Mezei 2 Archibald Lampmans poetry focused primarily on the urban vs suburban battle of landscapes a topic which was certainly hot at the time with the emergence of such urban centres as Toronto and Montreal in the middle of what was only a half-century ago merely the bush It is important to answer two central questions about Lampmans commentary on urban sprawl in his poem The City of the End of Things First why did he feel the way he did and what was his intent in writing his poetry He felt the way he did because he lived in an environment of constant change and
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