The Presence of the Past
This new collection of essays explores such urgent concerns in late twentieth century poetry as national and personal identity, and the relationship of history and the present. Jeremy Hooker takes a variety of poets and poems and sets them against each other to produce illuminating insights into the condition of modern poetry as a whole. Hooker also adds his thoughts on the present practice of literary criticism and the philosophies which form it. Drawing on poets from the English, American and Anglo-Welsh traditions, Hooker’s subjects include Eliot, Bunting, Hill, Oppen, Wainwright, John Matthias, Roland Mathias, Gillian Clarke, John Ormond, and John Tripp. Almost all of the essays have been written since the publication of Hooker’s last book of general criticism, the much admired Poetry of Place ( 1982).