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By R. P. Draper

This serious survey of recent poetry from Thomas Hardy to Seamus Heaney considers either the self-consciously progressive techniques of Modernism and extra conventional advancements, taking into consideration the level to which "English" can not be equat

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Leggett suggests, this 'mithridatic function' of Housman's own poetry 'requires that we experience a controlled amount of pain as defence against the much greater pain inherent in the nature of the world outside the poem'? The poetry is not escapist, but fundamentally realist - a means of coming to terms with that underlying 'unhappiness' which Larkin finds so emphatically there. ROBERT FROST (1874-1963) Robert Frost is another poet who, like Hardy and Housman, suffered at one time from critical undervaluation.

The re-appraisal of what it is for a woman to be 'ruined', in the Victorian sense, humorously presented in 'The Ruined Maid', is now well known; the downright realism of a wife who wants a healthy, not a sickly child, in 'A Practical Woman', perhaps less so. 'Christmas' poems like 'The Oxen' and 'Christmas in the Elgin Room', a 'New Year' poem such as 'The Darkling Thrush', and the supposed self-criticism of 'In Tenebris II', are all examples of poems which playoff, sometimes more, sometimes less subtly, against stock responses.

He becomes more allied to the Symbolists, creating poetry which is not so much a renewed apprehension of the external world (even if in the interest of 'the mind of man') as an interior world of its own, with language that is connotative rather than denotative, conjuring up evocative associations, and with sounds and rhythms that aspire to the condition of music - as in 'The Idea of Order at Key West', where the imaginative principle (now feminine) 'was the single artificer of the world / In which she sang'.

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