Richards and Williams: Spring and All and the Invention of Modernist Form

Philosophy and Literature 42 (1):217-221 (2018)

"The chief characteristic of poets," writes I. A. Richards in his well-known essay, "Science and Poetry," "is their amazing command of words".1 By this Richards does not mean that poetry can be written "by cunning and study, by craft and contrivance," that is, by "the technique of poetry added to a desire to write some"; his point is rather that "the ordering of the words" must spring from "an actual supreme ordering of experience." The true vocation of "genuine poetry" consists in its attempt to give the reader "a response which is as passionate, noble and serene as the experience of the poet." It is, in other words, only by being "the master of experience" that a poet can be "the master of...
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DOI 10.1353/phl.2018.0012
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