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New Left Review I/17, Winter 1962


David Craig

The New Poetry of Socialism

Gabriel Pearson’s recent article [1] Romanticism and Contemporary Poetry”: New Left Review, 16 (July/August 1962). on present-day poetry and the trend poetry has followed since the rise of romanticism contained some striking new formulations of a thesis familiar enough from Plekhanov’s analysis of the French Romantics in his Art and Social Life, T. S. Eliot’s essay on Blake, or Marshall McLuhan’s essay (in an early number of Essays in Criticism) on Tennyson and “picturesque poetry”. It seems to be a fact of literary history that romanticism developed out of the breakdown of any culture in Western Europe that felt itself to be (in Pearson’s words) “sustained either by unified social or by religious sanctions”.

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