Poetry in English since the Second World War has produced a number of highly original narrative works, as diverse as Derek Walcott's Omeros, Ted Hughes' Gaudete and Anne Stevenson's Correspondences. At the same time, poetry in general has been permeated by narrative features, particularly those linguistic characteristics that Mikhail Bakhtin considered peculiar to the novel, and which he termed "dialogic". This book examines the narrative and dialogic elements in the work of a range of poets from Britain, America, Ireland, Australia and the Caribbean, including poetry from the immediate postwar years to the contemporary, and novel-like narratives to personal lyrics. Its unifying theme is the way in which these poets, with such contrasting styles and from such varied backgrounds, respond to and creatively adapt the language-worlds, and hence the social worlds in which they live. The volume includes a detailed bibliography to assist students in further study, and will be a valuable resource to undergraduate and postgraduate students of contemporary poetry.
Neil Roberts is a Professor in the Department of English Literature, at the University of Sheffield. His previous publications include George Eliot- Her Beliefs and Her Art (1975), Ted Hughes- A Critical Study (1981), The Lover, The Dreamer and The World- The Poetry of Peter Redgrove (1994), and Meredith and the Novel (1997).