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Houseman's Poems - John Bayley

Hardcover Published: 16th April 1992
ISBN: 9780198117636
Number Of Pages: 208

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Although Housman's three collections of poems, the third published posthumously, have remained continuously popular, they have not received much serious critical attention. John Bayley makes good the omission in this thorough and comprehensive re-appraisal of the whole oeuvre, placing Housman's achievement in the context of the poetry of his own time and of more recent European and American poetry. Close analysis and comparison with other poets--Hardy, Frost, Edward Thomas, Larkin, and Paul Celan--prove illuminating in relation to a poet who has usually been considered something of an odd man out, and even an anachronism in the modern era. Professor Bayley explores and explains the continuing appeal of the poetry to present-day readers, and the nature of the craftsmanship and psychology which lie behind its deceptive simplicities. The book will be a valuable introduction to Housman's achievement for the specialist and the poetry-lover alike.

Industry Reviews

`John Bayley's Housman's Poems makes a cogent argument for the continuing value of this poet ... Bayley is very good at sorting out the poems in Housman's many books that are still of interest. The book is clearly written and economical, and it contains a good deal of wit and insight. It provides readers, above all, with methods of coming to terms with a poet who has been discredited in the last thirty years.' Magill's Literary Annual 1993 `marvellous new study of the poetry - not a biographical account, but perfectly willing to admit, the poet's uneventful life as a witness when needs be. ...Bayley's book is more than a rearguard action. It comes out fighting for the virtues of the verse ...' The Independent `Addicts of Housman will be grateful to ... John Bayley, for taking us in critical detail through the poems again and drawing our attention to points we would have missed.' J. Enoch Powell, Daily Telegraph 'The book, though short, is taxing and illuminating; it may be read not merely as a reappraisal of Housman but as a meditation on the nature of poetry by a leading member of the Oxford English school.' Anthony Curtis, Financial Times 'Being an exceptionally good judge of poem's tone, Bayley is well able to catch the meanings buried within meanings, or the sense implanted in creative monsense.' Andrew Motion, The Observer `John Bayley's study of Housman's poems is a brilliant and rambling book ... Bayley produces literary criticism of the "close-reading" school at its purest and most old-fashioned. Next term John Bayley will surrender his chair at Oxford to Terry Eagleton. I fear we shall not look upon his like again.' Caroline Moore, The Times `Addicts of Housman will be grateful to ... John Bayley, for taking us in critical detail through the poems again and drawing our attention to points we would have missed.' J. Enoch Powell, Daily Telegraph `...it is studded with gems, some new-cut, some repolished. Professor Bayley ingeniously strips down well-known Housman issues...' Roderic Dunnett, Church Times `a witty, inquisitive essay that itself digs out a dangerous wit in a poet who has, until now, failed to receive his critical dues.' Anthony Lane, Independent `a marvellous book, the kind that shows you what a study of English literature ought to be about, but to a great extent no longer is.' John Whitworth, The Spectator `Housman's Poems, by John Bayley, is a sympathetic and generally wise book, akin to an extended seminar.' Roderic Dunnett, Church Times `Readers familiar with the work of Professor Bayley will welcome this new book. The writer is noted for the breadth of his interests and the sensitivity and humanity of his criticism, couched in prose which is subtle and persuasive but free from jargon; ... Professor Bayley has shown superbly throughout his book the appositeness to Housman's own poetry of the line quoted in `The Name and Nature of Poetry' from Wordsworth - `Sorrow, that is not sorrow, but delight'. Alan Holden, Honsman Society Journal Vol 18, 92 'this book is written with assurance, with many telling phrases and pointed observations, however much its principal notions seem to merge: a high and respectful intelligence is at work here' L.K. MacKendrick, University of Windsor, Choice, January 1993

Deaths and Endingsp. 1
Lovep. 18
Sex and the Soldierp. 31
Personaep. 45
The Romantic Personalityp. 55
The Straiteningp. 64
The Name and Nature of Poetryp. 75
A Voice in Oppositionp. 99
Strong Feelingsp. 122
Jokesp. 137
Hell Gate and Parnassusp. 149
Contacts and Reversalsp. 177
Bibliographyp. 193
Indexp. 195
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780198117636
ISBN-10: 0198117639
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 208
Published: 16th April 1992
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.2 x 14.7  x 1.7
Weight (kg): 0.39