By R. P. Draper
This serious survey of recent poetry from Thomas Hardy to Seamus Heaney considers either the self-consciously progressive concepts of Modernism and extra conventional advancements, taking into consideration the level to which "English" can now not be equat
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Additional resources for An Introduction to Twentieth-Century Poetry in English
There are moments, indeed, when Stevens sounds very like Lawrence, or the Stravinsky of The Rite of Spring, celebrating primitive consciousness and knowledge in the 'blood' as a redemptive power in contrast to the self-denying, spiritualised sacrifice of Christian religion: Supple and turbulent, a ring of men Shall chant in orgy on a summer morn Their boisterous devotion to the sun, Not as a god, but as a god might be, Naked among them, like a savage source. ('Sunday Morning') Modernism: Pound, Eliot, Williams and Stevens 29 Yet the note of primitive abandon is only incidental in Stevens.
It records the destruction of a dead cat on 'an icy day' by burying it and then burning its box. Getting rid of a cat in such a way would seem to be no great matter; in this poem, however, it is not any cat, but 'the cat', and it is, implicitly at least, precious to an intimate group designated as 'We'. The language accords it the dignity of a proper burial, and the burning of the box perhaps suggests a funeral pyre. There are other suggestions, too, of tradition - and, more particularly, human tradition - in the burial of the cat.
Lawrence believed to be overdeveloped in the Christian West at the expense of intuition and instinct, or 'blood consciousness'. There are moments, indeed, when Stevens sounds very like Lawrence, or the Stravinsky of The Rite of Spring, celebrating primitive consciousness and knowledge in the 'blood' as a redemptive power in contrast to the self-denying, spiritualised sacrifice of Christian religion: Supple and turbulent, a ring of men Shall chant in orgy on a summer morn Their boisterous devotion to the sun, Not as a god, but as a god might be, Naked among them, like a savage source.
An Introduction to Twentieth-Century Poetry in English by R. P. Draper