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Three Critics: T. S. Eliot, Seamus Heaney, Geoffrey Hill

Three Critics: T. S. Eliot, Seamus Heaney, Geoffrey Hill

Chapter:
(p.70) 4 Three Critics: T. S. Eliot, Seamus Heaney, Geoffrey Hill
Source:
Serious Poetry
Author(s):
PETER McDONALD
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199235803.003.0004

T. S. Eliot lived to experience the fullest extent of his own critical authority, and, to judge from the evidence of his later essays and addresses, he became increasingly bemused by the weight which his own opinions had come to carry. The young Eliot went on to be seen as the ancestor of an altogether less dangerous school of literary criticism in the United States and Britain, many of whose members adopted his literary enthusiasms and dislikes, along with a few motifs of interpretation held to be his ideas. Eliot confessed that he can never re-read any of his own prose writings without acute embarrassment. This chapter also examines the poem The Redress of Poetry, in which Seamus Heaney gives more than a glimpse of the charm, grace, and carefully judged gravity with which the poet handled his acts of praise. Geoffrey Hill as a poet-critic and the influence of his critical work on contemporary poetry other than his own are also discussed.

Keywords:   T. S. Eliot, Seamus Heaney, Geoffrey Hill, literary criticism, British literature, poetry

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