on 6 February 2016
The 1930s for poets - depression, new politics and a gathering storm..a self consciousness and awareness and the idealised romance of the Spanish civil war..the big hitters are here:
Louis Macneice, something of a depressive divorcee, displaced Irishman, class warrior, wandering in London Rain and pondering imperial shame in the British Museum reading room.
Auden, poster boy for disaffected distance, going to neutral America and waiting for 1939 to burn back in Europe.
Laurie Lee, drifting far from sleepy Gloucestershire and playing fiddle for his supper in small Spanish towns.
Dylan Thomas, new, daring thought prose that still sparkles and challenges.
Betjeman's populist easy rhymes of class (rhyme with arse), but there's few better provincial ends than a Death in Leamington.
Spender "all mystery or nothing", and C Day Lewis; communist leanings and poor sub-Eliot half images.
The smaller names' words still resonate: Randall Swingler, Norman Cameron, Philip O'Connor..but only one woman; Anne Ridler. No one seemed that interested in whatever women had to say it seems.
The 1930s - last word to Charles Madge: "We shall be differently aware, we shall see all things new, not as a craze or a surprise, but hard, naked, true."