Advertisement

The Origins of a Poethood

  • Dominic Hibberd

Abstract

In the decade before the First World War the country town of Shrewsbury was remote from centres of culture, too far for a lower-middle-class schoolboy there to discover much about new developments in literature. It was still important to be earnest, at any rate in a piously Evangelical household. In school, poetry was still Romantic poetry (the respectable sort), its theory laid down by Wordsworth, its emotions and language exemplified in Tennyson and (rather to excess) in Keats. Wilfred Owen worked hard, writing neat essays on the standard authors. He later took pleasure in believing that his poetic vocation came from his native landscape, where he was a worshipper among the hills in Wordsworthian fashion as well as a properly Ruskinian botanist, geologist and archaeologist, but the beginnings of what he later called his ‘poethood’ had as much to do with books and religion as with nature. In his early years he was very bookish and devout, belonging entirely to the nineteenth century. His seriousness was as typical of that age as it is alien to ours; it is easy to laugh at him, but not very useful.

Keywords

Country Town Rive Ground Modern Poetry Romantic Poetry Shakespeare Play 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 24.
    See DH, ‘Images’ (1974).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Dominic Hibberd 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dominic Hibberd

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations