I would like to thank, in particular, John Frow for his detailed critique of the manuscript, and for the very stimulating discussions we had as a result of his readings. My thanks must also go to Michael O'Toole, Bob Hodge, Anthea Gupta, and Ron Carter for the very careful attention they paid to this book in typescript, and to Shirley and Don Murfitt for giving me a quiet cottage in the country in which to write it.
For permission to reprint material from works in copyright the author and publisher make grateful acknowledgement as follows:
'The Old Men admiring themselves in the Water' by W.B. Yeats is reprinted from The Poems of W.B. Yeats and the passage from 'Per Amica Silentia Lunae' by W.B. Yeats is reprinted from Mythologies by permission of A.P. Watt Ltd on behalf of Michael B. Yeats and Macmillan (London) Ltd; The Death of a Soldier' and the lines from The Motive for Metaphor' and 'Man Carrying Thing' by Wallace Stevens are reprinted by permission of Faber and Faber Ltd from The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens; 'Note on Local Flora' by William Empson is reprinted from Collected Poems by permission of the estate of the author and Chatto and Windus Ltd; 'The Thought Fox' by Ted Hughes is reprinted by permission of Faber and Faber Ltd from The Hawk in the Rain by Ted Hughes; 'Lines on a Young Lady's Photograph Album' by Philip Larkin is reprinted from The Less Deceived by permission of the Marvell Press, England; 'There was a Saviour' by Dylan Thomas is reprinted from The Poems by permission of David Higham Associates on behalf of J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd; 'if everything happens that can't be done' by e. e. cummings is reprinted by permission of Grafton Books, a division of the Collins Publishing Group; 'Encapsulated' by Colin Johnson is reprinted by permission of Hyland House Publishing Pty. Ltd.