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Poetical correctness

The contrast between the health of poetry in Britain and the US is striking. American poetry has been butchered by the professors

By Michael Lind   65

at the beginning of the 21st century, the contrast between the relative health of poetry in Britain and its dire condition in the US is striking. In Britain, the Poet Laureate is known if not always respected and the selection of the Professor of Poetry at Oxford makes the newspapers; in the US, nobody can tell you the name of the Poet Laureate (answer: Stanley Kunitz). The best British poets, such as Seamus Heaney, James Fenton, Charles Causley, Tony Harrison and Wendy Cope, use traditional verse techniques in innovative ways to write about a range of subjects in a variety…

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