THE DEATH OF CAPTAIN NEMO by Robert Hillyer

THE DEATH OF CAPTAIN NEMO

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

This fantastical poem based on the story by Jules Verne of Captain Nemo and his submarine, the Nautilus, marks both the most interesting contribution Robert Hillyer has yet made to poetry and perhaps a new note in the history of poetry itself. What Hillyer thinks of the poetry of the last half century, the poetry of Eliot, Pound, etc., is now well-known by his statements in the Saturday Review of Literature against the awarding of the Bollingen prize. This work is therefore interesting not only in itself but as a demonstration of what Hillyer thinks modern poetry can and should be. Three things become at once apparent about Hillyer. He is looking forward not backward; he is catching the mood of 1950, a mood of musing, of tentative adventure. Second, he has discarded the hard imagism of the group above and has invented a fluid and somewhat mellifluous blank verse which fits his subject very well. Third, he is only a fair technician as a poet, and in this work he has chosen to remain so vague and allusive that were it not for the explanatory foreword it would be hard to get the drift of the narrative. Nevertheless, he has struck off a new note in English poetry, and poets, and followers of poetry, will be attracted and interested.

Pub Date: Aug. 8th, 1949
Publisher: Knopf