Laura Riding: anticipating the emergence of the school of New Criticism

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  • The poet’s corner
  • Here where the end of the bone is not the end of the song
  • And the earth is adorned with immortality
  • In what was poetry
  • And now it’s the pride next door
  • And nationality,
  • Here is a battle without bravery
  • But if the coward’s tongue is gone
  • Swording his own vigorous lung.
  • Listen if there is victory
  • Written in a library
  • Waving books in banners
  • Finally, militarily, for the lines
  • Walk, delivered from the soul.
  • And luckily they are resting beyond
  • Suspicion now, the incomprehensible
  • Traitor in such a speech
  • As if chatted about the borders of their countries.
  • The graves are gardened and the whisper
  • Stop at the hedges, there are songs
  • Of that in the ranks there is a silence
  • Where the ground has limits
  • And the rest is beauty.
  • What about beauty?
  • Death has an understanding of it
  • True to many flags
  • And is a silent ally of any country
  • Assaulted in his mortal heart
  • With immortal poetry.
  • In good standing
  • I don’t doubt you.
  • I know that you love me.
  • It’s a fact of your inner face,
  • A real fantasy of your muscles.
  • Your approach is confident.
  • Your gaze is meticulous.
  • Your stay next to me is a pillow
  • To ride on
  • And sleep like all alone.
  • But make me a statement
  • In due form on endless fool
  • Witness before a notary
  • And sent by post, registered,
  • To be signed upon receipt
  • And open under oath to believe;
  • An old paper is missing from my safe,
  • A bond to seize when hail tortures the chimney
  • And the lightning turns redder and redder around the city,
  • And your quick step and your meticulous gaze
  • Are gallant but without circumspection,
  • And not mentionable in a book of misfortune.

Laura on horseback

Laura Riding (1901-1991) was an American poet, critic and writer. Born in New York, she first rose to prominence as a poet in the early 1920s after partnering with southern poets known as the Fugitives. After one of her members, Alan Tate, introduced her to the group, some of her poems appeared in her influential literary magazine, The fugitive. The only woman to appear in the publication, she received the group’s 1924 Nashville Award. After divorcing her husband, historian Louis Gottschalk, she moved to England at the invitation of British poet Robert Graves, who, along with his wife, invited her to form a three-household, which ultimately destroyed the Graves wedding. In 1941, she gave up poetry as an inadequate form of personal expression and instead turned to a style of criticism that was seen as anticipating the emerging school of New Criticism, which sought to judge separate literary texts. of their historical or biographical contexts. She died of a heart attack exactly 30 years ago, on September 2, 1991.


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