New Bearings in English Poetry: A Study of the Contemporary Situation

By F. R. Leavis | Go to book overview

VI
Epilogue

THESE three poets whose work has been considered at length--Eliot, Pound and Hopkins--together represent a decisive re-ordering of the tradition of English poetry. If Mr Eliot stood alone it might be less obvious that his achievement constituted a new start. But when Mr Eliot is associated with two poets so unlike him and each other as Hopkins and Pound (but related to him in significance as suggested) the young practitioner, at any rate, cannot help being aware that his effort must be determined by bearings very different from the Victorian. The fact, too, that Mr Eliot is not alone makes his influence easier to escape from, and so more valuable.

This is not in the least to qualify the account suggested earlier of the decisiveness of Mr Eliot's achievement. Future English poetry (if English poetry is to continue) is likely to bear the same kind of relation to him as later Romantic poetry did to Wordsworth and Coleridge, but for whom Keats and Shelley, though quite unlike Wordsworth and Coleridge, would possibly not have been poets at all, or if they had been would

-195-

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New Bearings in English Poetry: A Study of the Contemporary Situation
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Prefatory Note 1
  • I- Poetry and the Modern World 5
  • II- The Situation at the End of the War 27
  • V- Gerard Manley Hopkins 159
  • VI- Epilogue 195
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