By Henry Gifford

ISBN-10: 0511551649

ISBN-13: 9780511551642

ISBN-10: 0521309441

ISBN-13: 9780521309448

This e-book (comprising 4 lectures offered at Trinity collage, Cambridge in 1985) is anxious with the functionality and standing of poetry within the 20th century, and is especially involved to distinction attitudes in Britain and the USA with these within the USSR and jap Europe. starting with the functionality of poetry at the present time, Professor Gifford is going directly to think of the character and validity of 'poetic witness', the matter of the poet's solitude and his relation to the neighborhood, and at last the query of ways some distance the 'international code' of poetry might be understood through those that deal with it heavily of their personal language. the writer, who has released on many points of twentieth-century poetry, has tried an 'apology for poetry' in an age which wishes, yet has a tendency to disregard, this paintings previously on the centre of eu civilization. among the poets mentioned are Blok, Akhmatova, Mandelstam, Tsvetaeva, Emily Dickinson, Yeats, Pound, Eliot, Cavafy and Seferis.

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Extra info for Poetry in a Divided World: The Clark Lectures 1985 (Clark Lectures, 1985)

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The Municipal Gallery Revisited', a poem from his final period, illustrates this. He is seeking there to evaluate 'the images of thirty years', tracing Ireland's history in the lineaments of his friends. Among the portraits that hang in the gallery is one of Lady Gregory by Mancini: 'Greatest since Rembrandt', according to John Synge. Yeats feels bound to demur - 'A great ebullient portrait certainly', he says, and then proceeds to outdo Synge in extravagance: But where is the brush that could show anything Of all that pride and that humility?

It was necessary to understand that politics could become lethal and the poet had no right of immunity. At the time of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897, riots broke out in Dublin. He tells of reading about the violence on the following day: I count the links in the chain of responsibility, run them across my fingers, and wonder if any link there is from my workshop. This anticipates the troubled note in one of his Last Poems: Did that play of mine send out Certain men the English shot? Did words of mine put too great strain 41 Poetry in a divided world On that woman's reeling brain?

He glorified 'that one Irish century that escaped from darkness and confusion' - the century of those four Yeatsian heroes - in the attempt to create a mythology for his kind. The affirmation 'I declare' has the proud ring of his egotism. % the poet William Yeats' has flourished a fine pedigree; but are they in any true sense his spiritual forebears? He did gain one advantage over his English contemporaries (other than the poets of the First World War) in being brought sooner to face the issues dominating this century.

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Poetry in a Divided World: The Clark Lectures 1985 (Clark Lectures, 1985) by Henry Gifford


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