The Poetic Image

The Poetic Image

The Poetic Image

The Poetic Image

Excerpt

Let me first express my gratitude to the Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge, for honouring me with their invitation to give the Clark Lectures, for their hospitality during my visits to Cambridge, and for their great kindness to a lecturer most uncomfortably aware of the formidable distinction of his predecessors in the lectureship. I would like also to thank: the audiences whose responsiveness made it delightfully clear that poetry is neither a lost cause nor a mystery to the younger generation; the friends at Cambridge and elsewhere who, discussing the matter of these lectures with me, made valuable contributions to the book as it now stands; and lastly, the one who, from first to last, with gentle encouragement and delicate criticism helped me over the exacting course I had set myself when I chose 'The Poetic Image' as my subject.

This book contains the lectures very much as they were delivered. I have not thought it necessary to eliminate all traces of the spoken word. But I have included certain afterthoughts of my own, as well as the modifications suggested by others; and I have tried to weed out every piece of that critical jargon which, whether it springs from mental indolence or is a subtle form of egotism, does so much to deter the intelligent reader. The poetic image is a subject too wide to be adequately covered in a study of this length, even by a critic far more sensitive and scholarly than myself. It will be enough if I have given the ordinary reader an introduction to some of its many aspects, and perhaps contributed a few ideas to the major work of criticism which has yet to be written on it.

C. DAY LEWIS

Musbury, Devon . . .

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