The opposition between saying and not-saying which I have described in the work of some American poets seems to me an equally prominent feature of the recent history of English and Irish poetry. The pathos of subjectivity, the ‘responsibility to say what one feels about things’: these imperatives have come and gone on this side of the Atlantic as well as on the other. My next chapter will deal with their coming at a particular moment in the careers of Philip Larkin and Seamus Heaney, the one after that with their going at a particular moment in the careers of Ted Hughes, Geoffrey Hill and J. H. Prynne.
KeywordsShared Meaning Grammatical Subject Public Matter American Poet Historical Respectability
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