Poets' Grammar: Person, Time, and Mood in Poetry

Poets' Grammar: Person, Time, and Mood in Poetry

Poets' Grammar: Person, Time, and Mood in Poetry

Poets' Grammar: Person, Time, and Mood in Poetry

Excerpt

Parts of this book first appeared, in somewhat different form, in Books, Blackfriars, Essays in Criticism, Notes and Queries and Orpheus. Acknowledgments are due to the editors of these periodicals.

In work of this kind a writer owes almost everything to the help of others, whether he makes use of that help to good or ill effect, and overwhelmingly foremost among those who help him are the dead, but still living, poets and dramatists, aspects of whose grammar forms the subject of this little book. Next to them, he must thank the editors on whose texts of the poets and dramatists he relies, and from which he quotes. The debt is much the largest in the case of early authors and here, especially, I try to acknowledge at the appropriate places the editions I have employed. Also noted in the text are other specific obligations.

There are also those men to be remembered, happily still living, whose thought and writings constitute a major influence. Mr. T. S. Eliot has long exerted such an influence on the present writer who, even when he reacts, as temperament bids him react, against this influence, still realizes that he must be thankful to the origin of the force which inspires reaction. Negative influence, aiding another to discover his own position through the act of dissent, can be as valuable as, or can be more valuable than, positive influence. Perhaps I have not reacted against sufficiently.

Next there are those whose conversation, at various times, has provided stimulus, over a period. These are very numerous, but I would especially mention here, and the order is roughly denotative of the order in time of the conversations, Mr. John Spriers . . .

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