Who was the author hailed as the Canadian Keats, and where did he live? (Chapter 40…Arthur Stringer)
After graduating from Victoria Public School, Arthur attended the London Collegiate (Central) where he was known as Zulu for his ferocity on the football field. Later, he recalled that he “was partly civilized here” since it was at Central that Arthur developed an interest in literature. He wrote his first poem on a bedroom wall, started the school newspaper entitled Chips, and published his first volume of poems at the age of 16. However, punctuality did not rate high on his priority list. His teacher, Nicholas Wilson, greeted him one morning with the dry remark, “Late again Stringer. I suppose you have milked the cow, and attended to the fowl before you came to school, and did a little gardening besides!”
Arthur learned to swim in the Coves, a popular spot regularly enjoyed by youngsters of the area, and one summer’s day took a canoe trip with a friend down the Thames to Springbank Park. The canoe was loaded down with a wheelbarrow for ballast and the current carried them swiftly along to the park where the pair spent a pleasant afternoon before deciding, around nightfall, to head home again. Of course, the return trip proved a different story, and with great difficulty over a long period of time, they made their way upstream. As they approached the city, the boys were surprised to see a number of people carrying lanterns and combing the edges of the riverbank, poking among the debris laying there. Upon inquiry, the pair discovered that everyone was searching for them, certain that they had suffered a tragedy, since further upstream and quite by coincidence, a dam had burst.