THE COMPLETE POEMS OF D. H. LAWRENCE by

THE COMPLETE POEMS OF D. H. LAWRENCE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The first complete assemblage of Lawrence's poetry, both the collected and uncollected. It must be considered one of the literary landmarks of the decade. Like most genuises, Lawrence wrote too much, repeated himself too often. His poetry was these faults; it is also, at worst, flimsy in form, sometimes sentimental or hrewish in speech; a lot of the early stuff is nothing but tearful doggerel, the ater aphorisms are preachy and pathetic. But Lawrence had what he ascribed to the truscans. ""The natural flowering of life!...To the Etruscans all was alive; the whole universe lived; and the business of man was himself to live amid it all"". This was Lawrence's message, his gleaning out of the grubby modern age. In these poems, especially in Birds, Beasts and Flowers, it takes on flesh and bone, color and conviction, a yea-saying devotion all the more powerful in that against the ibbering of the machine and of machine-sex he built a blood consciousness of human relatedness, ""of the grain that struggles alone- in the dark"", of a reality whose symbols fused with the senses. Compared to Eliot, Lawrence is inferior and imperfect; but you cannot build on perfection. Eliot's excellence is a closed circuit. Lawrence's strivings constantly to become both himself and the nature outside the self, to produce poetry ""instantaneous like plasm"", has more meaning for us today than when he lived. It has, in fact, an urgency, a demand we bridge our terrible gap between instinct and reason, or else... Young poets should return to him as to a well- spring, a sacred source, to continue the song he sang so courageously, with such ardor, so much stubborn truth.

Publisher: Viking