After His Death
Bernard Freeman Trotter passed away at the age of 27 in May, 1917. His father collected his poems and published them later that year, with McClelland, Goodchild, and Stewart in A Canadian Twilight: and Other Forms of War and of Peace. Trotter’s dedication to his poetry is frequently evident in the letters he wrote, often mentioned in a postscript or as an aside amongst a retelling of his day. He recounts inspiration found amongst the English countryside and the difficulties of creating on the front lines to his family at home.
In these short mentions it can be discerned that Trotter was committed to his craft but was severly affected by the war. His tone in mid-1916 England is remarkably different from the Spring of 1917 France, and the influence of personal loss can be felt in his work. Included in this exhibit is his final poem, in which he somberly writes “We shall grow old, and tainted with the rotten / Effluvia of the peace we fought to win, / The bright deeds of our youth will be forgotten, / Effaced by later failure, sloth, or sin;”