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by Robert Graves

ISBN: 0855949724
Publisher: Doubleday

Robert Graves recently followed Auden into the Poetry Chair at Oxford, and now we on our side of the Atlantic can be grateful too- for his University lectures, collected here, are delightful reading with a classic felicity. Mr. Graves' prose, though far more involuted than his verse, in elegant and engaging. Nothing that the supreme gift is humor, the ability to grasp the identity of opposites, he then comments on gold medals, American cultural pomposities and Spanish manners. Before that- in a devastating (if you don't like him) malicious (if you do) essay he dethrones Virgil, calling him an Apollonian antipoet, one who never invented where he could borrow, a pederast and a politicker. He throws garlands to John Skelton, exemplar of the dedicated poet, inveighs against "the foul tide basin of mlernism", having never liked Eliot or Pound (his real superiors, incidentally), denounces the emotional tranees of pseudo-poets, reflects upon Wyatt, Donne and English love, salutes the Arabic word Baraka meaning blessedness, and praises the intuitive certitude of the Mse who, not the God of Reason, has inspired the world's great art.. While Mr. Graves is personal in his views and sometimes arguable in his opinions, the eclectic reader will be interested and stimulated.