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

Cabinet 17: Home Run

On Poetry: Collected Talks and Essays.

Robert Graves, On Poetry: Collected Talks and Essays. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1969.

This volume contains lectures and talks given at Cambridge University, the University of Texas, the Chicago Arts Center, and at Oxford University, when Graves was Professor of Poetry from 1961-1966.

The range of subjects covered is wide: LSD (Graves once experimented with ‘magic’ mushrooms), Vergil, William Blake, cybernetics, Shakespeare, computerized society, Shelley, and the poetics of Ecstasy (on display), Mystery and Revelation.

Claiming that

‘nine-tenths of what passes as English poetry is the product of either careerism, or keeping one’s hand in: a choice between vulgarity and banality’

he dismissed poets like Robert Browning, ‘poor tortured Gerald Manley Hopkins’, Rudyard Kipling, D. H. Lawrence (‘sick, muddled-headed, sex-mad’), W. H. Auden, and Dylan Thomas.

This particular copy is signed by Graves.