Twentieth Century Poetry: Selves and Situations

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He graduated from the University of York in In the s he edited the poetry magazine Perfect Bound. He helped organize several international Cambridge Poetry Festivals between and , and was festival coordinator in Among the most decisive events for his creative life, a sexual assault in Italy on his girlfriend in — which he witnessed at gunpoint — formed the material for some of the poems in This Other Life and provided the plot outline for a novel called September in the Rain published in September After teaching for the University of Wales, Aberystwyth , and at the University of Cambridge , he held various posts in Japan.

His most extended employment, from to , was teaching English Literature and English as a second language at Tohoku University in Sendai.

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He underwent a successful brain tumour operation in while his first marriage was failing. He remarried in to an educationalist and now has two daughters, Giulia and Matilde.

Since returning to Reading, as well as founding the creative writing pathway and leading research at the university on poetry and poetics, he has organised a centenary conference on the work of the poet Bernard Spencer — , instigated the publication of an annual creative arts anthology, and helped found the Reading Poetry Festival. Robinson's many years working in that country made it difficult for him to maintain a profile in the British poetry scene, but his work continued to receive attention, and the publication of his Selected Poems prompted a number of reviews including a welcome by Patrick McGuinness in the Poetry Review Winter , a review in The Japan Times 20 Oct by David Burleigh, and one in Romanian by Catalin Ghita.

Glossary of Poetic Terms | Poetry Foundation

His current critical standing was underlined by the publication in of The Salt Companion to Peter Robinson , a collection of fourteen essays with a bibliography — , edited by Adam Piette and Katy Price. Alongside his poetry, Peter Robinson's ancillary activities have also received widespread critical attention.

The translations of Vittorio Sereni , made in collaboration with Marcus Perryman, were described by Charles Tomlinson in The Independent as 'versions that possess an uncanny accuracy, true to the fragmented, self-communing, smouldering and combustible humanity of Sereni's work'.

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For me at least, much of this work is new' while Glyn Pursglove, reviewing the book in Acumen , found that Robinson's 'attempted fidelity is not allowed to distort his own use of English and English verse and there is a great deal to admire and enjoy here. Pull down thy vanity, it is not man Made courage, or made order, or made grace, Pull down thy vanity, I say pull down.

Twentieth Century: Major Writers and Works

These celebrated lines come from the section known as the Pisan Cantos, and their pathos is heightened by the circumstances in which they were composed. Pound lived in Italy throughout the Fascist period, and he was an ardent admirer of Mussolini, in whom he saw a reincarnation of the Renaissance patron-warlords he wrote about.


During the Second World War, Pound — still a US citizen, although he had lived in Europe since — made numerous propaganda broadcasts in English on Rome Radio, aimed at convincing American soldiers of the perfidy of capitalism, Franklin D Roosevelt and the Jews, among other targets. This made him a traitor, and at the end of the war he was captured by a band of Italian partisans and turned over to the US army.

He was imprisoned at Pisa, first in a cage, then in a tent; and it was in these piteous conditions that he wrote the lines that sound so much like an apology. Yet it was hard to give up the fantasy, and these very Pisan Cantos also contain some of his most virulently anti-Semitic and pro-fascist verse. Swift does not spend much time examining the wartime broadcasts, though he quotes enough to show that they were both loathsome and criminal. Rather, he focuses on what came next, after Pound was returned to the US to stand trial for treason. That way he would avoid prison or death, and the government would avoid the stain of punishing him.

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  6. At first, it seems that The Bughouse will be a biographical-literary study of these encounters and their poetic legacies. Swift is a sensitive and thoughtful reader of both poetry and human psychology, and he shows how all these relationships rested on a mixture of sympathy with and distance from the imprisoned poet. Yet Swift is not only writing literary criticism.