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    The history of the english poetry part 4

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    The history of the english poetry part 4

    مُساهمة  مصطفى منصور في الإثنين يناير 04, 2010 5:06 pm

    The Thirties

    The poets who began to emerge in the 1930s had two things in common; they had all been born too late to have any real experience of the pre-World War I world and they grew up in a period of social, economic and political turmoil. Perhaps as a consequence of these facts, themes of community, social (in)justice and war seem to dominate the poetry of the decade.
    The poetic imagee of the decade was dominated by four poets; W. H. Auden, Stephen Spender, Cecil Day-Lewis and Louis MacNeice, although the last of these belongs at least as much to the history of Irish poetry. These poets were all, in their early days at least, politically active on the Left. Although they admired Eliot, they also represented a move away from the technical innovations of their modernist predecessors. A number of other, less enduring, poets also worked in the same vein. One of these was Michael Roberts, whose New Country anthology both introduced the group to a wider audience and gave them their name.
    The 1930s also saw the emergence of a home-grown English surrealist poetry whose main exponents were David Gascoyne, Hugh Sykes Davies, George Barker, and Philip O'Connor. These poets turned to French models rather than either the New Country poets or English-language modernism, and their work was to prove of importance to later English experimental poets as it broadened the scope of the English avant-garde tradition.
    John Betjeman and Stevie Smith, who were two of the most significant poets of this period, stood outside all schools and groups. Betjeman was a quietly ironic poet of Middle England with a fine command of a wide range of verse techniques. Smith was an entirely unclassifiable one-off voice.

    The Forties

    The 1940s opened with the United Kingdom at war and a new generation of war poets emerged in response. These included Keith Douglas, Alun Lewis, Henry Reed and F. T. Prince. As with the poets of the First World War, the work of these writers can be seen as something of an interlude in the history of 20th century poetry. Technically, many of these war poets owed something to the 1930s poets, but their work grew out of the particular circumstances in which they found themselves living and fighting.
    The main movement in post-war 1940s poetry was the New Romantic group that included Dylan Thomas, George Barker, W. S. Graham, Kathleen Raine, Henry Treece and J. F. Hendry. These writers saw themselves as in revolt against the classicism of the New Country poets. They turned to such models as Gerard Manley Hopkins, Arthur Rimbaud and Hart Crane and the word play of James Joyce. Thomas, in particular, helped Anglo-Welsh poetry to emerge as a recognisable force.
    Other significant poets to emerge in the 1940s include Lawrence Durrell, Bernard Spencer, Roy Fuller, Norman Nicholson, Vernon Watkins, R. S. Thomas and Norman McCaig. These last four poets represent a trend towards regionalism and poets writing about their native areas; Watkins and Thomas in Wales, Nicholson in Cumberland and MacCaig in Scotland.

    The Fifties

    The 1950s were dominated by three groups of poets, The Movement, The Group and a number of poets that gathered around the label Extremist Art.
    The Movement poets as a group came to public notice in Robert Conquest's 1955 anthology New Lines. The core of the group consisted of Philip Larkin, Elizabeth Jennings, D. J. Enright, Kingsley Amis, Thom Gunn and Donald Davie. They were identified with a hostility to modernism and internationalism, and looked to Hardy as a model. However, both Davie and Gunn later moved away from this position.
    As befits their name, the Group were much more formally a group of poets, meeting for weekly discussions under the chairmanship of Philip Hobsbaum and Edward Lucie-Smith. Other Group poets included Martin Bell, Peter Porter, Peter Redgrove, George MacBeth and David Wevill. Hobsbaum spent some time teaching in Belfast, where he was a formative influence on the emerging Northern Ireland poets including Seamus Heaney.
    The term Extremist Art was first used by the poet A. Alvarez to describe the work of the American poet Sylvia Plath. Other poets associated with this group included Plath's one-time husband Ted Hughes, Francis Berry and Jon Silkin. These poets are sometimes compared with the Expressionist German school.
    A number of young poets working in what might be termed a modernist vein also started publishing during this decade. These included Charles Tomlinson, Gael Turnbull, Roy Fisher and Bob Cobbing. These poets can now be seen as forerunners of some of the major developments during the following two decades.

    The 1960s and 1970s

    In the early part of the 1960s, the centre of gravity of mainstream poetry moved to Ireland, with the emergence of Seamus Heaney, Tom Paulin, Paul Muldoon and others. In England, the most cohesive groupings can, in retrospect, be seen to cluster around what might loosely be called the modernist tradition and draw on American as well as indigenous models.
    The British Poetry Revival was a wide-reaching collection of groupings and subgroupings that embraces performance, sound and concrete poetry as well as the legacy of Pound, Jones, MacDiarmid, Loy and Bunting, the Objectivist poets, the Beats and the Black Mountain poets, among others. Leading poets associated with this movement include J. H. Prynne, Eric Mottram, Tom Raworth, Denise Riley and Lee Harwood.
    The Mersey Beat poets were Adrian Henri, Brian Patten and Roger McGough. Their work was a self-conscious attempt at creating an English equivalent to the Beats. Many of their poems were written in protest against the established social order and, particularly, the threat of nuclear war. Although not actually a Mersey Beat poet, Adrian Mitchell is often associated with the group in critical discussion. Contemporary poet Steve Turner has also been compared with them.

    English poetry now

    The last three decades of the 20th century saw a number of short-lived poetic groupings, including the Martians, along with a general trend towards what has been termed 'Poeclectics'[7], namely an intensification within individual poets' oeuvres of "all kinds of style, subject, voice, register and form". There has also been a growth in interest in women's writing, and in poetry from England's ethnic groupings, especially the West Indian community. Performance poetry has gained popularity, fuelled by the Poetry Slam movement.[citation needed] Poets who emerged in this period include Carol Ann Duffy, Andrew Motion, Craig Raine, Wendy Cope, James Fenton, Blake Morrison, Liz Lochhead, Linton Kwesi Johnson and Benjamin Zephaniah.
    Even more recent activity focussed around poets in Bloodaxe Books' The New Poetry, including Simon Armitage, Kathleen Jamie, Glyn Maxwell, Selima Hill, Maggie Hannan, and Michael Hofmann. The New Generation movement flowered in the 1990s and early 2000s, producing poets such as Don Paterson, Julia Copus, John Stammers, Jacob Polley, David Morley and Alice Oswald. A new generation of innovative poets has also sprung up in the wake of the Revival grouping. There has been, too, a remarkable upsurge[citation needed] in independent and experimental poetry pamphlet publishers such as Barque, Flarestack, Heaventree and Perdika Press. Throughout this period, and to the present, independent poetry presses such as Enitharmon have continued to promote original work from (among others) Dannie Abse, Martyn Crucefix and Jane Duran.

    Notes

    <LI id=cite_note-0>^ Bede, Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum. <LI id=cite_note-1>^ See, for example, Beowulf: a Dual-Language Edition, Doubleday, New York, NY, 1977; Newton, S., 1993. The Origins of Beowulf and the Pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia. Cambridge. <LI id=cite_note-2>^ Brendan Cassidy (ed.), The Ruthwell Cross, Princeton University Press (1992). <LI id=cite_note-3>^ Spielmann, M. H. The History of "Punch", from Project Gutenberg <LI id=cite_note-4>^ Vann, J. Don. "Comic Periodicals," Victorian Periodicals & Victorian Society (Aldershot: Scholar Press, 1994) <LI id=cite_note-5>^ Stedman, Jane W. (1996). W. S. Gilbert, A Classic Victorian & His Theatre, pp. 26–29. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-816174-3
    ^ [1] Making Voices: Identity, Poeclectics and the Contemporary British Poet; New Writing, The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing; Volume 3 (1); pp 66–77

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