Tributes to the Scarlet Riders: An Anthology of Mountie Poems

Description

192 pages
$16.95
ISBN 1-894384-70-9
DDC C811'.008'03523632

Year

2003

Contributor

Edited by Collected by Edgar A. Kuhn
Reviewed by Alain Létourneau

Alain Létourneau is a librarian in the J.N. Desmarais Library at
Laurentian University.

Review

“Ride on-ride on, riders of the plains, / All the prancing horses are
tugging at the reins, / Hear the merry jingle, see the stirrups shine; /
Five-and-twenty cavaliers trotting into line.”

This excerpt from a poem by Special Constable R. Watkins-Pitchford is
an example of the type of poetry found in this collection written by
Royal Canadian Mounted Police between 1873 and the present day. The
poems are divided into seven thematic sections: “The Mounties’ Early
Years (1873–1905),” “Hunters and Warriors,” “Arctic,”
“Recruits, Training, and Horses,” “Tall Tales and True Stories,”
“Life and Duty,” and “Tributes to the Force and Its Veterans.”
Each section is preceded by a picture from the early years.

Almost every poem is introduced by a small paragraph explaining the
context of its composition. Among the poems inspired by true adventures
is A. Glenn Broder’s “The Lost Patrol”: “Mourn long, mourn deep,
but shed no transient tear / For those who perished on the lonely trail
/ The untracked path of duty; craven fear / Nor laggard will e’er
cause those hearts to quail / That now are still in death.”

Most of the volume’s 84 poems can be read like little stories, and
their accessible style makes them suitable for readers of almost all
ages. The book’s last section consists of a useful glossary of RCMP or
military terms, place names, characters’ names, and RCMP ranks.

Citation

“Tributes to the Scarlet Riders: An Anthology of Mountie Poems,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed February 29, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/15597.