ERWIN R. STEINBERG
I SHOULD LIKE to consider first this morning what there is about the current situation in literature that should encourage poetic drama after a long period of only fitful and not very successful alliance between poetry and drama. Since I am neither poet nor dramatist, I shall appeal from time to time to statements from both poets and dramatists to lend some authoritative support to my arguments. You know, of course, that in the great yesteryears on which English professors like to dwell, much of drama was poetic drama. I'm sure, for example, that none of you got through high school without discovering the fact that Shakespeare wrote in verse--if indeed you weren't bludgeoned with it. And I need only mention here the great Greek dramatists and such others as Christopher Marlowe and Ben Jonson. Some of you may even have gotten into such controversies as the one which evoked Dryden An Essay of Dramatic Poesy and know that in past centuries poetry and drama were considered by many as necessarily inseparable.