Wanderer and Other Poems is Mr. Benson’s third published volume of poetry. The long poem, “The Wanderer,” which begins this volume is a sequel to his “Twenty and After,” which won the Jardine Memorial Award at the University of Toronto in 1926, when he was but twenty-two, and was published by the Ryerson Press in March, 1927. “The Wanderer,” a romantic, autobiographical narrative, slightly over a thousand lines in length is a sincere attempt on the poet’s part to delineate the experiences of his youth. His early dreams, loves, fears and emotions are clearly revealed and presented. ‘He tells of his wanderings in the United States and the Dominion, of Canada’s Northland, of Winnipeg, the prairie provinces, Banff and the Rockies. He describes vividly as an eyewitness Canada’s Diamond Jubilee of Confederation at Ottawa in July 1927, when Lindbergh’s squadron visited the Capital, and the impressive ceremonies at the celebration of the Centenary of his alma mater, the University of Toronto, in October 1927.
Another interesting feature of the poem is his graphic reference to various Canadian poets who have been his intimate friends, Charles G. D. Roberts, Bliss Carman, Wilson Macdonald and E. J. Pratt.
Cover artwork by Han Han