Poetry in a Divided World: The Clark Lectures 1985
Cambridge University Press, 31 mar 1986 - 111
This book (comprising four lectures presented at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1985) is concerned with the function and status of poetry in the twentieth century, and is particularly concerned to contrast attitudes in Britain and America with those in the USSR and Eastern Europe. Beginning with the function of poetry today, Professor Gifford goes on to consider the nature and validity of 'poetic witness', the problem of the poet's solitude and his relation to the community, and finally the question of how far the 'international code' of poetry can be understood by those who care for it seriously in their own language. The author, who has published on many aspects of twentieth-century poetry, has attempted an 'apology for poetry' in an age which needs, but tends to ignore, this art formerly at the centre of European civilization. Amongst the poets discussed are Blok, Akhmatova, Mandelstam, Tsvetaeva, Emily Dickinson, Yeats, Pound, Eliot, Cavafy and Seferis.
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The nature and validity of poetic witness
Isolation and community
The international code of poetry
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able accept achieved Aeschylus Akhmatova American appear artist become beginning believed Blok called Canto Cavafy century civilisation claimed clear comes Criticism culture Dante described Eliot English essay Europe exile experience expressed face feeling function future given giving Greek hope human imagination important isolated Italy language later lectures less letter light lines literature living London Mandelstam meaning memory Milosz mind moral nature never once original Pasternak play poem poet poet's poetic poetry political position Pound present prose published question quoted reading recognised record relation remark Russian seems Seferis sense side speaks statement thing thought tion tradition translation true truth Tsvetaeva Twelve understanding understood values verse voice whole witness Wordsworth write written wrote Yeats