Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Carry On

Thirty-seven poems*. Scroll down.  
Click on poems to enlarge text.

The poems were posted in order of the book, so to read in order, start with the earliest poems and read UP.  Three posts have two poems.  Not every poem has an illustration.  
Poet - James McLennan of Russell and later Winnipeg,  Manitoba
Illustrator - L.J. McVarish of Winnipeg.

Enjoy and share the poetry. 

--- shared willingly by the descendants of James Cameron

*36 if Disappointment and Retrospect are indeed one and the same.
<<follow-up in progress>>


It is over.

We Regret to Inform You


Many did not return.  Death of youth.  A generation lost.  But I think the text on this plate is the same as an earilier poem... Will follow up on this.  <<Yes.  Poem on plates 32-33 has same verses.  Will double check scan, and detail.>>

Thoughts in the Trench

Thinking about thinking.

Zero Hour

click the poem to enlarge the text


Kaboom!  The illustration is almost audible.

A Nightmare

The Letter

The truth and the compassion.

Going Back



The Flare

Page actually bled to black. Text in reverse.
Click the image of the poem to enlarge it.
Another dozen poems to post.  68 pages in the hard cover book.  Keep enjoying.  
Help us find the illustrator's family:  L.J.McVarish

All Quiet on the Western Front

As story poem.  A situation.  An event.

They Shall Not Grow Old

It looks like the artist screened the smoke in the back of this illustration.  Seems, with war, it is difficult to not look back.

The Hero. Gas Attack

Two poems on this plate.


as life, or day, draws nigh


Pragmatic. Glory is overrated.

To A Skull

Hallowe'en apples!  Alas, poor Yorick. Morbid be the bones, especially the bones of war.

What Price Glory

This illustration looks more like a print,
or an etching than a drawing or a painting.
 I hope we are able to locate the illustrator,
L.J. McVarish.
To enlarge the text of the poem, just click on it.

The Eventide

As always, click on the illustration to enlarge it, if need be.  

The Tropies. The Cemetery.

No illustrations on these plates.  He and the author probably agreed about this.  Or perhaps it was the publisher's call.  We'll have to use our imaginations a bit more.


Forgotten, Forgotten, as every soldier know.

The Lost Generation. Peace

Two poems.

Women. The Sister. Mother

My Granny was James Cameron's Sister. Her sons served and came home damaged, but alive from WWII. We still live with their pain.

Friday, 14 October 2011

I Was There

Page 22 & 23.  The book has 68 pages.
More than 20 poems to go!

The Padre

Religeon was not a big part of our family. 
Not even back then... well maybe.  Nah.

The Prisoner

Witness?  Probably.
 Anyone know?

We are the Dead

We do not know what years these were written, only that Uncle Jim
published them when he was well into his eighties. 
Did he lift a line or did he hear their call to give voice?
Does it matter?

The Piper

He was a Cameron Highlander.  And a Cameron!

Thou Shalt Not Kill

Yes.  I'd think that would be a dilemma... or a dream.

The Dressing Station

I know a man researching the over sensationalization of "The Great War". 
This poet saw some ugly stuff and wasn't from a privileged social situation.  Shrugs. 
Pages 10 & 11

No Man's Land

I'm pretty sure this is fresh material.
Pages 8 & 9

Leaving Home

I wonder if anyone could use these illustrations.
I imagine L.J.McVarish was a witness as well.
Pages 5&7

The Canadian Army

Page 4 of Carry On gives us another of many illustrations
by L.J. MacVarish to augment the poems that comprise the book.
Page 5 = The Canadian Army

Carry On

Carry On is a collection of poetry published by my dad's maternal uncle, James Cameron, from Russell Manitoba. We are publishing it here because we can.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Discovered! Leo McVarish - Illustrator/Painter

Finally, after posting Carry On - Reflections from a War, and putting out a call for anyone who might know the artist, L.J. McVarish, we have been discovered.

It is an interesting story, and it is still unfolding.

Virginia McVarish of Massechussets USA was researching her family history and found our reference to L.J.McVarish and our call for connections to him.

In January 2014, Ms. McVarish contacted me, thinking that just possibly, she knew which branch of the McVarish clan had the painter, L.J. McVarish.  She promised she would pursue it and she had me wait.

Then, this week, in February 2014, she made the connection, and indeed, she located his brother, Dennis.  Had we known that L.J. stood for Leo Joseph, we would have found Mr. McVarish sooner, but the text only gave us the initials, L.J.  In the end, Leo Joseph McVarish was found to be Manitoban, just like James Cameron.  He was a decorated veteran of WWII so, was considerably younger than Uncle Jim.  Unfortunately, Mr. McVarish passed away in 2010 so we will not meet him in person, but we do want to recognize the artist in this book of poems.

Clearly both poet and painter had a sense of the disaster known as war.

We would like to know how this collaboration came to be.  Was L.J.McVarish referred by the publisher, Freisens, of Altona?  Did he illustrate many other books of poetry? Did they have many conversations about the poems.  Leo McVarish did true artistic justice to Uncle Jim's poems.

Next I will contact Leo McVarish's brother, Dennis, and show him this blog.  Perhaps we will unfold more of the story.

Here is the 2010 tribute to the painter, Leo Joseph McVarish that was printed in the Winnipeg Free Press following his passing, in 2010.