By Patrick Deane
Patrick Deane argues that glossy English poetry, in a few key facets, is indebted to the classical culture and to the attitudes and modes of the 18th century. He illustrates how neo-Augustan values are obvious within the works of T.S. Eliot, W.H. Auden, Louis MacNeice, A.D. wish, Donald Davie, Charles Tomlinson, and others. The presence of those values, Deane indicates, isn't a interest yet a part of an important culture of recent neo-Augustanism that has been formerly neglected. by way of tracing those writers' universal curiosity in Horace, John Dryden, and Samuel Johnson, he uncovers very important hyperlinks among doubtless varied smooth poets. He demanding situations the complete interpretation of literary modernism, which has routinely associated the trendy poets to the Romantics and obvious either as anti-Augustan. Deane concludes that those glossy poets proportion a prepared reputation of linear time, in which all acts of inventive and social creativity needs to ensue - a vital consider either the shape and substance in their writings.
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Additional resources for At Home in Time: Forms of Neo-Augustanism in Modern English Poetry
Now in Iceland, "What have we found? " (Collected Poems 41-2). From one year before this comes MacNeice's poem, "Homage to Cliches," underlining the self-consciousness with which he situated himself as a writer on the "surface" of things. His ironic "Bagpipe Music" of 1937 articulates the sybaritic temptations which beset such an acceptance of superficiality as the terminus of knowledge: "It's no go the Yogi-Man, it's no go Blavatsky, / All we want is a bank balance and a bit of skirt in a taxi" (Collected Poems 97).
If the basic aim of the romantic-symbolist tradition is, as Arthur Symons put it, "to spiritualize literature, to evade the old bondage of rhetoric, the old bondage of exteriority" (8), "Bagpipe Music" runs exactly - and quite perversely - against that tradition. According to Symons, reading poetry should be "a kind of religion, with all the duties and responsibilities of the sacred ritual" (9), a ritual of penetration beneath linguistic surfaces. Symbolism is a literature "in which the visible world is no longer a reality, and the unseen world no longer a dream" (4).
In the main, however, Eliot shows a striking appreciation for the radical ways in which poetry and poetics in the Restoration and eighteenth century differ from those in the romantic and post-romantic periods. In his appraisal of Dryden he shows sympathy for the discursiveness, the emphatically denotative style, and even the empirical - or "commonplace" - mentality (314), which mark Dryden's poetry as typical of its age. Pound, however, was led by these same characteristics to label the poet "a lunk-head" ("Mr Housman" 70), but Eliot finds real poetic value not in imagist "suggestiveness," or romantic sublimity, but in Dryden's "satisfying completeness of ...