chapter  9
23 Pages

Politics and Beauty: the Poetry of Randall Swingler

The four new collections here under review - George Barker's Thirty Preliminary Poems, Laura Riding's Poet: A Lying Word, John Pudney's Spring Encounter and Difficult Morning by Randall Swingler - seemed representative enough to require some general observations about contemporary English poetry under the dreadful shadow of the 'modern':

The ideals that inspire such writers are not aesthetic; they care very little for reading; beauty means little to them, and style less. Their interests are in politics, in progress, in society; in economics, in psychology, in the sciences. They scent an impending social revolution, and they mean to be its brains. But one wonders why they choose to write poetry. Why cannot they be content to behave as if this were the kind of thing they would write if poetry were forced upon them? And if they must write, why do they publish it?