This is an informal history of poetry in English from Piers Plowman to the major figures of the mid-twentieth century, namely Peter Redgrove, Francis Berry, Galway Kinnell and Patrick Kavanagh. Its argument is that the central tradition of English poetry is earthy, alliterative, colloquial, with a strong regard for structure and the claims of plot. Whole alien tracts of subject-matter have been assimilated to this tradition. But from time to time the mistake has been made of imitating the style and not just the content of foreign modes: this is experiment, and it goes against the tradition.
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From the archive: Beryl Bainbridge talks to Sebastian Shakespeare.
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@johnkampfner's book traces the '"consensual culture" of contemporary Germany, its love of slogging processes and of "getting it right", characteristics epitomised by Angela Merkel.'
Do the Germans really 'do it better'? Thomas Kielinger explores.