Essay British Poetry

4052 Words 17 Pages
Knowledge of contemporary British poetry is of great importance when it comes to understanding the reigning trends of England. The 1970s saw a fair amount of polemic concerning the discontinuities of the national "traditions," most of it concerned with poetry, all of it vulnerable to a blunt totalizing which demonstrated the triumphant ability of "nation" to organize literary study and judgment--as it does still, perhaps more than ever.

It remains the case twenty years later that there is a strong hint of the majority of the english poets to rediscover their ‘Englishness’ as a poet, and at the same time the presence of the various other cultures ensures that their remains a deep variety in the crative material.

The temptation
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When the war ended the new poetry which emerged still bore traces of the measured and uneventful thirties verse that had gone before it. Poets of what became known as the neo-Romantic movement, Vernon Watkins (1906-1967), W.S.Graham (1918-1986), Patricia Beer (1919- ), George Barker (1913-1991) and John Heath-Stubbs (1918- ) and others, wrote as if the British world had not changed irrevocably. The influence of pre-war founder figures W.B.Yeats (1865-1939), T.S.Eliot (1888 - 1965), Edwin Muir (1887-1959), Louis MacNeice (1907-1963), W.H.Auden (1907-1973), and Robert Graves (1895-1985) remained strong. The modernists David Jones (1895-1974) and Basil Bunting (1900-1985), with Hugh MacDiarmid (C.M.Greive - 1892-1978) in Scotland, stayed outsider forces. In Wales the Thomases, Dylan (1914-1953) and R.S. (1913-2000), made great marks on the map. But the poetry was not yet a true product of its times.

The reaction came in the early fifties, and by the time Dylan Thomas died in 1953, The Movement as the new tendency was called had obtained a coherence. The work of its poets nurtured rationality, was inhospitable to myth, was conversationally pitched (although lacking the speech rhythms of American counterparts like William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) and was deliberately formal and clear. Movement poets opposed modernism and had little truck with international influences. They regarded themselves as a direct continuation of mainstream English

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