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The Alvarez GenerationThom Gunn, Geoffrey Hill, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, and Peter Porter$
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William Wootten

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781781381632

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781381632.001.0001

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date: 16 July 2018

Children of The New Poetry

Children of The New Poetry

Chapter:
(p.199) Chapter Sixteen Children of The New Poetry
Source:
The Alvarez Generation
Author(s):

William Wootten

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781781381632.003.0016

This chapter argues that the offsprings of The New Poetry have neither the nerve nor nous to have both the fierce partiality and the representativeness of Alvarez. Its Penguin successor, Blake Morrison and Andrew Motion's Penguin Book of Contemporary British Verse, was ultimately a consolidation of a dominant taste more than an argument for a fresh one. The oft-stated complaint about the younger poets championed in their book is that their work was merely a continuation of the Movement by flashier device, but in truth a number of them are better seen as children of The New Poetry. Bloodaxe, a specialist poetry house, has for the last two decades taken upon itself to publish generation-defining anthologies. Its own The New Poetry borrowed Alvarez's title, if not his sense of purpose, but drew heavily on the format and ethos of Edward Lucie-Smith, if not his evaluative sense. The editors assembled work which often showed the influence of Paul Muldoon as well as the New York Poets, whose sense of play, even of fun, is much more clearly at odds with the spirits of Alvarez and of Conquest than are the influences of the Motion/Morison book.

Keywords:   poems, poetry, A. Alvarez, Penguin Book of Contemporary British Verse, Penguin, Bloodaxe, anthologies

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