Fraser, Robert Hugh (1983)
George Barker and the English poets: 'The minor bird on the bough'.
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The purpose of the thesis is to explore the implications of a statement made by the candidate in a recent article on the poetry of George Barker: "In Barker's work language and metre are for ever returning to the caves of their origin. His view of the English tradition is of a spiral through which the word refines itself to an extreme of preciosity and then twists back violently to a neW kind of simplicity. In the history of these islands there have been several such moments, less reverses or revolutions than revaluations from an older perspective: the mediaeval alliterative revival, the Romantic Revival, the re-emergence of Sprung Rhythm in Hopkins, the verbal democracy of Auden." (Poetry Nation Review, 9, No. 5, 1983).The dissertation takes each of these in and examines the effect which a reading of the work of the period has had on Barker's own theory and practice. The resulting conception in the poet's mind of a connected tradition owes much to the essay 'Tradition and the Individual Talent' by T. S. Eliot, who for over thirty years was both his publisher and mentor. Beginning with a consideration of the influence of Eliot's criticism on Barker's thinking, the thesis then progresses through successive chapters on Middle English Poetry, the Romantic Revival, Tennyson, Housman, Yeats, Hopkins and Auden to a conclusion in which Barker's own contribution to the perceived tradition is assessed.
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Deposited by David Morgan (UBYL020) on
in Royal Holloway Research Online.Last modified on 01-Feb-2017
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Institution: University of London, Royal Holloway College (United Kingdom).