Home icon. The Works of Robert Graves. Exhibition: 1 April to 17 June 2011.

Cabinet 10: Laura Riding

A Survey of Modernist Poetry.

Laura Riding and Robert Graves, A Survey of Modernist Poetry. London: William Heinemann, 1927.

A Survey of Modernist Poetry (1927) was supposed to be a ‘word-by-word collaboration’ between Graves and Riding.

Between them they attacked the ‘twentieth-century dead movement’ represented by Hilda ‘HD’ Doolittle (thin, poor, empty), William Carlos Williams (a charlatan), Pound (abnormal cultivation of the classics) and Yeats (his poetical robes are shabby).

Poets Robert Frost, Sassoon, and T. S. Eliot escaped somewhat unscathed. In reality, the book contained more Riding than Graves.

Although not a commercial success, the work did have influence, especially in the field of textual analysis. To some authorities, it signalled the birth of the ‘New Criticism’.