A Concise Companion to Postwar British and Irish Poetry by Nigel Alderman, C. D. Blanton

By Nigel Alderman, C. D. Blanton

This quantity introduces scholars to an important figures, pursuits and tendencies in post-war British and Irish poetry.

  • An ancient assessment and demanding advent to the poetry released in Britain and eire over the past half-century
  • Introduces scholars to figures together with Philip Larkin, Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney, and Andrew Motion
  • Takes an integrative strategy, emphasizing the advanced negotiations among the British and Irish poetic traditions, and pulling jointly competing trends and positions
  • Written by means of critics from Britain, eire, and the United States
  • Includes feedback for additional examining and a chronology, detailing an important writers, volumes and events

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Its master narrative of history offered a story that was plotted to the establishing value of Progress and paced to the cadence of rational gradualism. As a step-by-step process, where each phase is scaled in measurable advance from the last (rationality means first of all ratio, scale, measure), history was moving like a grand syllogism, as reasonably as a sequenced and progressive thought, to a conclusion that was always better, a conclusion that involved an ongoing improvement of human circumstance.

Shaped by the new circumstances of the Cold War and a diminished postwar state, the poets grouped around Philip Larkin sought continuity where their modernist predecessors had found none, more reconciled to the loss of ideological certainties. In the process, Burt demonstrates, the Movement not only formulated a new consensus in reverse – defined by everything it is not – but also provided a polemical target against which every succeeding counter-movement in English poetry would react. Nigel Alderman’s “Myth, History, and The New Poetry” traces the first such reaction, perhaps the most successful attempt to enact a workable compromise between modernism’s mythical methods and the Movement’s more orthodox meters.

Accordingly, each essay is designed to offer not a definitive set of readings or canonical judgments, but rather a survey and analysis of the tendencies, habits, and patterns that distinguish poetic production in Britain and Ireland over the past several decades. Together, they are offered as a rough, necessarily provisional, guide to a period that is perhaps still too close to view in a single historical glance, but one that is simultaneously receding from the recollections of simple memory into those of literary history.

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