chapter  V
Pages 8

What Lawrence himself might well have called a ‘double rhythm’ (the phrase comes from the revised essay on Poe) rims through a great deal of the poetry of the Romantics. I f the trance, the swoon, the moment of self-destruction are thematically crucial in this poetry, that is merely an obvious token of a persistent idiom of paradox; we observe again and again that a rhythm of enhancement or intensification is countered simultaneously by a rhythm of reduction. And though it is not a matter susceptible to decisive proof, it is my conviction that the paradox of living disintegration which Lawrence was so deeply engaged with in the years in which he produced his finest fiction is ultimately rooted in this characteristically Romantic ambiguity.