Choose some points (lines or phrases) from the poem and explain thoroughly wht each is implying about Canada.   1This is the case of a high-school land, 2deadset in adolescence; 3loud treble laughs and sudden fists, 4bright cheeks, the gangling presence. 5This boy is wonderful at sports 6and physically quite healthy; 7he's taken to church on Sunday still 8and keeps his prurience stealthy. 9He doesn't like books, except about bears, 10collects new coins and model planes, 11and never refuses a dare. 12His Uncle spoils him with candy, of course, 13yet shouts him down when he talks at table. 14You will note he's got some of his French mother's looks, 15though he's not so witty and no more stable. 16He's really much more like his father and yet 17if you say so he'll pull a great face. 18He wants to be different from everyone else 19and daydreams of winning the global race. 20Parents unmarried and living abroad, 21relatives keen to bag the estate, 22schizophrenia not excluded, 23will he learn to grow up before it's too late?

Expert Answers

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I will look at two lines from this poem.  In both of these lines, Birney is arguing that Canada is not really a very "cultured" country.

The first of these is Line 9, where Birney says that Canada is a youth that only likes books about bears.  This is saying that Canada, as a country, is not highbrow.  It is not a country of people interested in literature and the arts.  Canada, he says, is more interested in the outdoors, in physical things, not in the arts.

A similar point is being made in Lines 14 and 15.  There, Birney compares Canada to France.  He says that Canada is not as "witty" as France.  This means that Canada is not an intellectual and artistic country.

Canada and the US have both been seen, at times, as being more rustic, lowbrow and colonial -- not refined and continental.  This is what Birney is saying in the lines I have chosen.

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