By R. P. Draper
This severe survey of recent poetry from Thomas Hardy to Seamus Heaney considers either the self-consciously innovative suggestions of Modernism and extra conventional advancements, taking into consideration the level to which "English" can not be equat
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Extra resources for An Introduction to Twentieth-Century Poetry in English
Anecdote of the Jar' is thus a poem about poetry. This is also the theme of a large proportion of Stevens's work, and especially of his longer meditative poems such as 'The Idea of Order at Key West', 'The Man with the Blue Guitar', 'Notes toward a Supreme Ficton', 'Credences of Summer' and 'Owl's Clover'. Together with such longer pieces as 'Chocorua to its Neighbor' and 'Esthetique du Mal', these can be somewhat loosely termed 'philosophical! discursive' poems, and to that extent may be related to the alternative discursive tradition of twentieth-century poetry in English (and largely British poetry) to be discussed in the following chapter.
The scythe as instrument, and 'labour' as a generic abstraction, are limited to being themselves; the poetic 'I' who wields the scythe, and from whose will the 'labour' flows, shows a speculative awareness which, of course, is necessary to make the poem possible. Some interaction between consciousness and thing is a condition of poetic utterance; but respect for 'scythe' and 'labour', and a holding back from too easy poeticising of them, is necessary if that utterance is to be authentic. The marked development in North of Boston and subsequent volumes is in the greater colloquialism already noticed and in the use of a mixture of speculation and dramatic narrative.
Or is it only the breeze ... '), and leaving the lover, in an often-praised transition from the at first urgently pressing rhythm to one that is designedly stumbling and 'faltering', with the need to face the blankness of a wintry present. And with still more complex interaction in 'At Castle Boterel' the recall of 'Myself and a girlish form benighted / In dry March weather' is made to alternate with the pilgrim lover's present-day journey as 'the drizzle Hardy, Housman, Frost, Kipling and Graves 39 bedrenches the waggonette'.
An Introduction to Twentieth-Century Poetry in English by R. P. Draper