Poetry & Geography: Space and Place in Post-War Poetry

By Neal Alexander; David Cooper | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 1
City of Change and Challenge:
Liverpool in Paul Farley’s
Poetry

Charles I. Armstrong

In a generous tribute to a Romantic forerunner, the contemporary poet Paul Farley has hailed John Clare as an outstanding evoker of place. Farley is appreciative of how, in a poem such as ‘The Lament of Swordy Well’, Clare personifies the place, giving it a voice of its own. In Farley’s reading, though, this does not amount to a simple manifestation of delimited locality. Clare, he claims, ‘speaks out of, and for, the fragility of the natural world and the rootedness of places […] bearing witness or giving voice to a landscape being altered irrevocably’. Farley contrasts this to the sense of place conveyed by Wordsworth: where the Lake Poet ‘could posit a continuum, an immortality’, Clare presents ‘a great web of interconnectedness [that] has been snicked at and jeopardized’.1 Readers familiar with Farley’s work will notice that he is, in part, speaking on the basis of his own experience here: he, too, writes out of a very temporal experience of place, whereby a complex ‘web of interconnectedness’ has been ineluctably changed. Like Clare, Farley too feels the tug of the past. Yet in other respects his experience appears to be different. The specific locality that Farley most frequently returns to tends to be urban rather than rural, as he focuses on the Liverpool in which he grew up. There is also less straightforward idealisation in Farley’s work: pastoral celebrations of childhood havens and immediacies tend to be accompanied by complicating factors. As I will show in this essay, the Liverpool in which Farley grew up was far from idyllic. In addition, the speaker of his city poems often comes across as just as much a perpetrator as a victim, and the partially empowering activities of remembering and representing are acknowledged alongside loss and lack.

The result is a rich poetry of place which cannot be framed from within the confines of any single theoretical vantage point. One of Farley’s essays is titled ‘Space is the Place’, and certainly any approach

-21-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Poetry & Geography: Space and Place in Post-War Poetry
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 272

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.