On the Limits of Poetry, Selected Essays: 1928-1948

On the Limits of Poetry, Selected Essays: 1928-1948

On the Limits of Poetry, Selected Essays: 1928-1948

On the Limits of Poetry, Selected Essays: 1928-1948

Excerpt

At the kind suggestion of Mr. Alan Swallow, who has not entirely removed my doubts that it should be done, I have put this book together from three earlier books written over a period of twenty years. Most of the articles were written in the uneasy time between the wars; whether the new age which is just beginning will be less harassed, or more, it is too early to predict. Its "problems" will seem at any rate to be different. Neo-Humanism, for example, is not likely to revive again, and I have omitted from this collection a long essay on this topic which had a little notoriety in 1930. Many of the pieces are controversial (or were); the controversies of twenty or even five years ago turn into private history, of little interest to any public. The earliest writing in the book is a part of the essay on Emily Dickinson, written in 1928 and incorporated in a longer discussion which was first published in 1932. Only two of the pieces were written without an eye to periodical publication. The book can therefore be expected to have as little unity as my previous critical volumes: if my interests of the moment happened to coincide with an editor's, an essay or a review was the result.

The temptation to revise one's early views in the light of what one would like to regard as more mature knowledge . . .

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