Poetry After Freud

A. Alvarez
The New Poetry

The introductory essay outlines a set of negative feedbacks operating in British poetry in reaction to the work of T.S. Eliot. This is what it concludes:

What poetry needs, in brief, is a new seriousness. I would define this seriousness simply as the poet's ability and willingness to face the full range of his experience with his full intelligence; not to take the easy exits of either the conventional response or choking incoherence. Believe in it or not, psychology has left its mark on poetry. First, the writer can no longer deny with any assurance the fears and desires he does not wish to face; he knows obscurely that they are there, however skilfully he manages to elude them. Second, having acknowledged their existence, he is no longer absolved from the need to use all his intelligence and skill to make poetic sense of them. Since Freud, the late Romantic dichotomy between emotion and intelligence has become totally meaningless.
I may venture to surmise that emotion and intelligence are connected by feedback loops.

And so for day 2339