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The Music of Time: Poetry in the Twentieth Century Reviews

The Music of Time: Poetry in the Twentieth Century by John Burnside

The Music of Time: Poetry in the Twentieth Century

John Burnside

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1 review

Category: History, Non-fiction
Imprint: Profile Books Ltd
Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
Publication date: 3 Oct 2019
ISBN: 9781781255612
4 stars out of 5
5 Oct 2019

"This is a highly idiosyncratic experiment and much less Anglocentric than one might have expected"

Do not expect a textbook survey of 20th-century poetry. This is a highly idiosyncratic experiment and much less Anglocentric than one might have expected. Among the big-hitters writing in English, Eliot, Yeats and Plath get only passing mentions, though Auden features in fugitive passages of riveting but unflashy close criticism. Instead, The Music of Time introduces us to many foreign works we are unlikely to have come across before, often in the author’s own translations, from countries as far afield as Argentina and Singapore. Meanwhile, it gives us intimate glimpses of work we may only have known of, rather than truly known... The craft of poetry, as it emerges from this down-to-earth yet ultimately idealistic account, pays testimony to the intrinsic value of humanity and the age-old sense that we’re always searching for something beyond it.

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