Poetics and Ethics

The Saying and the Said in the Linguistically Innovative Poetry of Tom Raworth

in Critical Survey
View More View Less
  • 1 Edge Hill University shepparr@edgehill.ac.uk
Restricted access

In 1989 Tom Raworth commented on the focus of his poetry: ‘At the back there is always the hope that there are other people … other minds, who will recognise something that they thought was to one side or not real. I hope that my poems will show them that it is real, that it does exist.’ This article will tease out the implications of this attitude, in terms of Raworth’s poems, but also in terms of a wider poetics of an alternative British poetry. Raworth was part of the growth of an experimental British poetry during the 1960s, and he joins company with Roy Fisher, Lee Harwood, Bob Cobbing and JH Prynne as an important figure in what Eric Mottram called The British Poetry Revival. Raworth’s early poems followed the dictum of Charles Olson’s projectivism that ‘ONE PERCEPTION MUST IMMEDIATELY AND DIRECTLY LEAD TO A FURTHER PERCEPTION’, without reflection, qualification or discrimination, although Raworth’s effects were often comic and surreal. The presentation of sharp detail and rapid re-location of point of view created indeterminate lyrics and fictions. Throughout the decade improvisatory intuition was pitched against a supposedly reductive intellection.

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 4 4 0
Full Text Views 2 2 0
PDF Downloads 2 2 0