The Poems of D. H. Lawrence
Mr Lawrence has done his readers the service of arranging his poems in a time sequence; and he has re-written some of the early ones. The result is prodigiously impressive. If the best work of all his contemporary poets were pooled, it could not make up a book so manifestly the work of genius as the first of these volumes. The second is different: there is a change of some sort. There are, in it, magnificent, lovely, disturbing poems; but something has been lost. A hard, bleak quality of dogmatic asseveration creeps in. The extraordinary richness of Mr Lawrence’s experiencing nature is curbed and straitened. He is rigid, where he was flexible: poetry gives way to prophecy. And we seem to see behind his second volume a figure of a gaunt John the Baptist, threatening woe.
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