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

Cabinet 3: First Offerings

On English Poetry.

Robert Graves, On English Poetry. London: William Heinemann, 1922.

‘When putting a cat among pigeons, it is always advisable to make it as large a cat as possible.’

So wrote Graves in preface to On English Poetry, his first critical work and a personal reflection on the poetic process ‘based on the rules which regulate my own work at present.’

He took a swipe at ‘poets with floppy hats, long hair, extravagant clothes and inverted tendencies’, and revealed his thoughts on poetry, which to him was ‘a modified descendant of primitive Magic.

The cobbled cover design, including the famous Heinemann windmill, was done by William Nicholson, Graves’s father-in-law.