Serious Poetry: Form and Authority from Yeats to Hill

Paperback | November 29, 2007

byPeter Mcdonald

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Do we want to read poetry, or just like having a few poets to talk about? The history of poetry in twentieth-century Britain and Ireland is one which ends with the assimilation of successful poets into a media culture; it is also, however, another history, one of form and authority, in whichcertain poets found modes and pitches of resistance to the seeming inevitabilities of their times. In this history, it is the authority of poetry (and not the media-processed poet) which is at stake in the integrity of poetic form. Serious Poetry: Form and Authority from Yeats to Hill offers a controversial reading of twentieth-century British and Irish poetry centred on six figures, all of whom are critics as well as poets: W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot, W. H. Auden, Louis MacNeice, Seamus Heaney, and Geoffrey Hill. Yeats'scentrality to twentieth-century poetry - and the problem many poets and critics had, or still have, with that centrality - is a major focus of the book. Serious Poetry argues that it is in the strengths, possibilities, perplexities, and certainties of the poetic form that poetry's authority in adistrustful cultural climate remains most seriously alive.

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Do we want to read poetry, or just like having a few poets to talk about? The history of poetry in twentieth-century Britain and Ireland is one which ends with the assimilation of successful poets into a media culture; it is also, however, another history, one of form and authority, in whichcertain poets found modes and pitches of res...

Peter McDonald is at Christopher Tower Student and Tutor in Poetry in English, Christ Church, Oxford.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:234 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.51 inPublished:November 29, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199235805

ISBN - 13:9780199235803

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Table of Contents

1. Rather than Words: The End of Authority?2. Yeats and Remorse3. Yeats's Poetic Structures4. Three Critics: Eliot, Heaney, Hill5. One of Us: Eliot, Auden, and Four Quartets6. Yeats, Form, and Northern Irish Poetry7. MacNeice's Posterity8. The Pitch of Dissent: Geoffrey HillBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

`In Peter McDonald's important, intelligent and provocative book, a principled attention to form yields genuine insights which elude most critics ... McDonald's reading of Hill is, like all his readings, perspicacious and revealing.'Adam Kirsch, Times Literary Supplement