His Lady of the Sonnets
By Robert Norwood First published in 1915
ISBN: 978-1-77081-206-2 pages 75 size: 6.5 by 9 inches paper
Robert Norwood was born in New Ross, Nova Scotia, the son of Edith Harding McKeen and Rev. Joseph W. Norwood. He was educated at Coaticook Academy and Bishop’s College in Quebec, and at King’s College in Nova Scotia. At King’s he studied English under Charles G.D. Roberts, who encouraged him to write poetry. He graduated from King’s College in 1897 and became a deacon, and was ordained a priest in 1898, also in 1898 he published his first book of poetry, Driftwood, a chapbook co-written with Charles Vernon, his former roommate at King’s. Norwood became a priest in Cape Breton, where he married Ethel McKeen, and succeeded to larger parishes in Quebec and then London, Ontario. In 1917 he was promoted to a parish in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and became an American citizen. In the mid-1920s Norwood was a member of The Song Fishermen, a literary and social set organized by Halifax, Nova Scotia socialites Andrew and Tully Merkel that included Roberts and his cousin Bliss Carman. Andrew Merkel described Norwood as a “scintillating conversationalist” and a “profound student of mysticism.” His poets were written as moral exempla to aid his ministry and affirm his Christian love as the answer to 20th century chaos.