All the Spikes But the Last

Original Text: 
F.R. Scott, F.R. Scott: Selected Poems (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1966): 64.
2Where are the thousands from China who swung
3    their picks with bare hands at forty below?
4Between the first and the million other spikes
5    they drove, and the dressed-up act of
7Did they fare so well in the land they helped to
8    unite? Did they get one of the 25,000,000 CPR acres?
9Is all Canada has to say to them written in the Chinese


1] Ned: E. J. Pratt (1886-1964), who received a Governor-General's medal for his poem Towards the Last Spike (1952), about the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885. Back to Line
6] Donald Smith: Donald Alexander Smith, 1st Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal, a principal in the making of the CPR. Back to Line
10] Chinese Immigration Act: in 1923, an act passed by the Parliament of Canada, banning Chinese immigration to Canada except for merchants, diplomats, and students. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire / Sharine Leung
RPO Edition: 
Special Copyright: 

Copyright © the estate of F. R. Scott. Included
with the generous permission of William Toye, his literary executor.