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'Hitler's Familiar Spirits'

Negative Dialectics in Sylvia Plath's 'Daddy' and Ted Hughes's 'Hawk Roosting'

Paul Bentley

Within the critical debate surrounding Sylvia Plath's poetry, the chief bone of contention seems to be whether or not Plath's use of Holocaust imagery is in any sense justifiable. Seamus Heaney's summary remarks on 'Daddy' are typical of the line usually taken against Plath – Heaney writes: 'A poem like 'Daddy', however brilliant a tour de force it can be acknowledged to be, and however its violence and vindictiveness can be understood or excused in light of the poet's parental and marital relations, remains, nevertheless, so entangled in biographical circumstances and rampages so permissively in the history of other people's sorrows that it simply overdraws its rights to our sympathy.'

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From the Horse's Mouth

The Other Paul Muldoon

Paul Bentley

In this paper I argue that Muldoon’s recent Horse Latitudes (2006) rereads, in a way that corrects our misreadings, images of horses and horse-related images in his work, and that from this self-reading another Paul Muldoon emerges: the postmodern ironist we think we know will here give way to a poet of abjection and of ‘abject’ political sympathies, a figure it turns out was there all along.

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Paul Bentley, James Booth, Mark Forshaw, Judy Hayden, Sharon Monteith, Jill Terry, Pat Wheeler, and Joanna Zylinska

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Rosalind Barber, Paul Bentley, Lynne Kositsky, William Leahy, Penny McCarthy, Aris Mousoutzanis, and Roger Stritmatter

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