A companion to twentieth-century poetry by Neil Roberts

By Neil Roberts

Compiled and edited by means of Neil Roberts (Professor of English Literature at Sheffield University), A better half To Twentieth-Century Poetry is a powerful anthology of forty-eight scholarly essays drawn from a wide selection of authors and academicians learning the improvement of poetry in twenty English-speaking nations during the last century. From context of the poets and their paintings; to the repercussions of the post-colonial age; to the expanding voice of girl poets; in addition to an total tendency in the direction of self-consciousness and self-reflection; A significant other To Twentieth-Century Poetry bargains expert and informative insights gleaned from as common and various a gaggle of members because the authors of the memorable poems themselves.

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Browning, Pound’s last Victorian, was edited out as he was absorbed into the more assured phrasing and heightened formal speech of Pound’s modernism in the Cantos. The dialogue with the literary past, and the question Pound put to it at this point concerning modern epic form (a question Joyce and Eliot were also asking), would continue, however, to govern this project. The intense subjectivity and introspection Arthur Symons detected in the nineteenth century also proved a continuing, if contradictory, feature in modernism.

Yet the focus of the magazine was not exclusively nativist. With Pound as Foreign Editor from 1912 to 1917, Poetry carried work by Yeats, Eliot and the Imagists alongside that of the Midwesterners. This eclectic mixture of new writing by indigenist, expatriate and foreign poets made Poetry arguably the most significant of all the modernist little magazines. The cohabitation of indigenists and expatriates in the pages of the little magazines was not always amicable. In 1918–19 a quarrel broke out between them, triggered by English critic Edgar Jepson’s attack upon ‘The Western School’ of American poets (see Pound and Williams, 1996, pp.

Eliot discovered in Baudelaire ‘a precedent for the poetical possibilities . . of the more sordid aspects of the modern metropolis’ (Eliot, 1965, p. 126) and consistently acknowledged his importance, along with the English poets James Thomson and John Davidson, in establishing a contemporary urban idiom. In his 1930 essay on Baudelaire, he detected something else, however; something ‘permanent’ which made Baudelaire more than ‘the voice of his time’; an ‘essentially Christian’ attitude, said Eliot, which realized ‘the real problem of good and evil .

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