Mar 25 2013
Tayt Harlin: The Golden Age of the English Poet-Critic
Today we have academics and professional critics as well as novelists and poets who moonlight as critics. But prior to the establishment of literary study as an academic field in the twentieth century, nearly all criticism in English was written by creative writers, often poets. Their criticism is characterized by autobiographical arguments that make little use of outside opinion, and are stylized enough to be called poetic. Their criticism is literature. Of course, poet-critics are still with us (see: James Fenton, Charles Simic), but no longer are they as highly regarded as they were from roughly the mid-sixteenth to the mid-twentieth century. This list is a tour d'horizon of the golden age of the English poet-critic.
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