The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry in English

By Ian Hamilton | Go to book overview

F

Faber Book of Modern Verse, The ( London, 1936), edited by Michael *Roberts, is a guide to the poetry enjoyed by intellectuals at the time of publication. The editor's introduction proved to be a piece of criticism as prescriptive as the Poetics of Aristotle. Henceforward, poetry would use intricate ideas, condense and compress metaphors, and deploy words in modes which were deliberately fantastic. Exemplars that were put forward included T. S. *Eliot, W. H. *Auden, William *Empson, Edith *Sitwell, and Laura *Riding. All were strongly represented in the first edition of the anthology.

As important as what Michael Roberts put in was what he left out. He said in the introduction that he recognized the merit of Walter *de la Mare, Edmund *Blunden, and Edwin *Muir. But he had decided to exclude these poets because they made no notable development in poetic technique. He did not even mention *Hardy, Edward *Thomas, and Robert *Frost, substantial figures conspicuous by their absence.

Roberts had a wonderful confidence in his judgement. But the Faber Book is not an exemplification of absolute excellence, whatever that may be. Rather, it represents the taste of one man in his own era. It is to be hoped that the first edition, untrammelled by the revisions of later editors, will continue to be reprinted in its pristine state. The Faber Book mirrors the indifference of its period to much that helped in shaping the poetry of a later age. But it also encapsulates, as no other literary document quite does, the innovative quality of the 1930s. [ PDH

FAHEY, Diane ( 1945- ). was born in Melbourne, where she was educated. After spending some years abroad she has returned to live in South Australia. Her first collection, Voices from the Honeycomb ( Brisbane, 1986), established her as a new poet of considerable strength and flexibility, writing through a range of subjects drawn from art, cinema, personal observation, and with an eye for the quirky newspaper report. Her second collection, Metamorphoses ( Sydney, 1988) draws on Greek myths to 'tell the story of contemporary woman journeying from patriarchy to reclaim her own space and authenticity'. The book includes an extended section of 'Notes and Illustrations'. Diane Fahey expanded on her preoccupations as developed in this book in a prose essay published in Poetry and Gender: Statements and Essays in Australian Women's Poetry and Poetics, ed. Brooks and Walker ( 1989). Her latest collection is Mayflies in Amber ( Sydney, 1993).

Although the reinterpretation of classical myths has been at the heart of much twentieth- century invention and pastiche, Fahey's work in Australia has gained from recent feminist theory and from the poet's own belief in poetry as 'an integrating process'. [ TWS

FAINLIGHT, Harry ( 1935-82), was born in New York of Jewish parents, his father being English and his mother American. He grew up in England but was evacuated to the United States during the Second World War. After reading English at Cambridge, he moved to New York to join the *Beat poets.

He returned with a celebrated long poem, 'The Spider', an account of an LSD trip. He performed it at the Albert Hall reading in London in 1965 which was filmed as Wholly Communion. In

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The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry in English
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction v
  • Selection of Anthologies xi
  • Key to Contributors xiv
  • Alphabetical List of Contributors xvii
  • A 1
  • B 28
  • C 80
  • D 113
  • E 143
  • F 156
  • G 179
  • H 206
  • I 247
  • J 251
  • K 266
  • L 284
  • M 318
  • N 375
  • O 393
  • P 407
  • Q 436
  • R 437
  • S 468
  • T 533
  • U 555
  • V 557
  • W 562
  • Y 593
  • Z 599
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