British Poetry

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Knowledge of contemporary British poetry is of great importance when it comes to understanding the reigning trends of England. The 1970s saw a fair amount of polemic concerning the discontinuities of the national "traditions," most of it concerned with poetry, all of it vulnerable to a blunt totalizing which demonstrated the triumphant ability of "nation" to organize literary study and judgment--as it does still, perhaps more than ever.

It remains the case twenty years later that there is a strong hint of the majority of the english poets to rediscover their ‘Englishness’ as a poet, and at the same time the presence of the various other cultures ensures that their remains a deep variety in the crative material.

The temptation stubbornly to assert the coherence and power of national traditions is strong not only among cultural conservatives dedicated to the perpetuation of poetic practices associated with or promoting "little-englandism" but increasingly in other, less visible communities of readers as well--and here I think especially of the small but vital communities of poets and critics dedicated to exploratory practices, where the pressures to locate indigenous varieties of Modernist and postmodernist practice are increasing.

Now at this stage this would be notable that the English poetry of the present day had to come a long way before it achieved its present mould. It includes the evolution of thought process from the likes of Yeats and Eliot and on to Auden, Dylan Thomas, Philip Larkin and finally to the present day poets like Andrew Zawacki, Brian Patten etc.

The poetry of the present day England is one that has many voices to it. There are various ethnicities, cultures and nationalities involved in shaping the face of the contemporary British poetry. But a walk down the memory lane and we find that the early poetry of the century acted as a melting pot to shape the face of the present day trend of the poetry scene. Since 1945 British poetry has moved steadily from what many regard as twentieth century parochial to a twenty-first century international. In the space of little more than fifty years the insular, clear verse of mainland English Britain has changed from being a centralist and predominantly male, seemingly academic practice to become a multi-hued, post-modern, cultural entertainment, available to all. Some observers see this as...

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...rse and humor is Wendy Cope. Wendy Cope was born in 1945 in the south of England. Both of her parents held management positions with British companies. Cope earned a B.A. from Oxford (1966) and a diploma from the Westminster College of Education (1967). After teaching for several years at various junior schools in London, she became a freelance writer and columnist.

Her Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis (1986) includes a number of literary jokes and parodies in the style of some of the most notable twentieth-century poets. Asked about her work, Cope asserted, "I dislike the term 'light verse' because it is used as a way of dismissing poets who allow humor into their work. I believe that a humorous poem can also be 'serious'; deeply felt and saying something that matters."

Twenty-first century British poetry is no longer precisely English as it used to be. In fact it has redefined the word ‘English’ in a new manner and this is because of the fact that there are various different trends in the British poetry scene. Like the world literature with which it is now firmly allied it has as many facets as the eye of a fly. Saying exactly what it is remains the problem of the moment.
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