The Poetic Achievements of Donald Davie and Charles Tomlinson: Expanding Vision, Voice and Rhythm in Late Twentieth-Century English Poetry

Price:$239.95 + shipping
(Click the PayPal button to buy)
Donald Davie and Charles Tomlinson are both poets have sought to explore the wider possibilities of an English poetic. This work demonstrates how, in opposition to the Movement's perceived inwardness, Davie and Tomlinson have continued to explore the legacies of international modernism.


“There are several mimetic orthodoxies dislodged at once in [the discussions in this work] – the reputation of Davie the intransigent theorist and critic is not allowed to elbow out the perverse complexity of his own poetic voice; and Tomlinson’s easy objectivity and demythologising of Cartesianism is never allowed to suggest unmediated transparency, but is always treated as a set of rhetorical effects. At close quarters Stannard defines contiguity as ‘ambient meaning’, and it is his continual commitment to this idea that keeps the poem as a species of verbal doing, an intimate performance of open and inclusive meanings, in the forefront of this fascinating discussion.” – Prof. Vic Sage, University of East Anglia

“The author skillfully weds intricate close readings with biographical and cultural elements. Not only does this give the reader a sense of the significance of these two poets, it positions Davie and Tomlinson in a post-war context and his arguments remain sensitive to the continuities of poetry on both sides of the Atlantic. That Davie and Tomlinson maintained an enthusiasm for the dynamic of early twentieth century poetry, not least that of Ezra Pound, means that Stannard's writing is alert to the offerings of the modernist legacy. This is a vital contribution to our understanding of two major post-war English poets.” – Prof. Tim Clark, University of Durham
“ . . . a work of critical advocacy for an important strand in recent British poetry. [Stannard’s] sustained readings of Donald Davie and Charles Tomlinson show them building upon the self-improving strengths of their regional backgrounds to reach out beyond the limitations of an imploding post-imperial little Englander mentality to explore possibilities for a British poetry which is able to address and learn from new relationships with the international sphere, and poetries from the Europe, America, Russia and beyond.” – Prof. Peter Robinson, University of Reading

Table of Contents

Foreword by Professor Vic Sage
1 Beyond The Movement
2 A Breakthrough into Spaciousness
Barnsley and Essex
An Address to Eva Hesse
3 The Quest for a Puritan Aesthetic
Scared of Edges
‘Starving for Dim Rose Windows’
4 Ways Out
‘Primal Things, Fresh Sensations’
Charles Tomlinson Meets William Carlos Williams in A Peopled Landscape
5 A Journeying Aesthetic
‘The Unchartable Country’
‘And The Mind That Swimmer’
‘Space, Light and Race’
Variations of Linearity
6 Later Poems, Liguria, Elegies, Brook Cottage
7 Conclusion

Other British Studies Books