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Poetry is a horrible waste of time

Frances Wilson: Thomas Lovell Beddoes

28 October 1999
Thomas Lovell BeddoesSelected Poetry 
edited by Judith Higgens and Michael Bradshaw.
Carcanet, 116 pp., £8.95, June 1999, 1 85754 408 0
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... I ought to have been among other things a good poet,’ ThomasLovellBeddoes wrote in the postscript to the brief and perfunctory note he left before swallowing a lethal dose of poison. He was 45 years old and had published nothing, save the odd poem, for a quarter of a ...
20 September 1984
The Force of Poetry 
by Christopher Ricks.
Oxford, 447 pp., £19.50, September 1984, 0 19 811722 1
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... most of the essays is some point to which the critic wishes to ‘give salience’, rather than the poet whose name appears in the title. The poets are Gower, Marvell, Milton, Johnson, Wordsworth and Beddoes, together with a handful of 20th-century poets from A.E. Housman to Geoffrey Hill. In Wordsworth we are to attend particularly to line-endings and to prepositions, in Marvell to ‘a particular ...

Heavy Lifting

John Palattella: John Ashbery

7 June 2001
Other Traditions 
by John Ashbery.
Harvard, 168 pp., £15.50, October 2000, 0 674 00315 2
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John Ashbery and American Poetry 
by David Herd.
Manchester, 245 pp., £45, September 2000, 0 7190 5597 0
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... Moore, all of whom he acknowledges as ‘major influences’, he discusses an eclectic group of 19th and 20th-century poets who for the most part have endured long periods of neglect: John Clare, ThomasLovellBeddoes, Raymond Roussel, John Wheelwright, Laura Riding and David Schubert. ‘I myself value Schubert more than Pound or Eliot,’ Ashbery says, and one can imagine some members of his ...

The analyst is always right

Mark Ford: Tessimond and Spencer

17 November 2011
Collected Poems with Translations from Jacques Prévert 
by A.S.J. Tessimond.
Bloodaxe, 188 pp., £10.95, November 2010, 978 1 85224 857 4
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Complete Poetry, Translations and Selected Prose 
by Bernard Spencer.
Bloodaxe, 351 pp., £15, February 2011, 978 1 85224 891 8
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... and songs composed for film and theatre projects in the 1930s. Tessimond was born in Birkenhead in 1902 into a relatively prosperous middle-class family; his father was a bank inspector. Like ThomasLovellBeddoes, an earlier oddball of British poetry, he was sent to Charterhouse School; he can’t have enjoyed it much, for when he was 16 he ran away to London, naively hoping to establish himself as a ...

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