Nancy Cunard’s Parallax: A Forgotten Modernist Masterpiece

In this week’s Dispatches from The Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle analyses an obscure modernist long poem influenced by T. S. Eliot

Nancy Cunard is not a name one immediately associates with poetry. The first thing that’s likely to strike one is the surname, the name of the luxury shipping line, and sure enough Nancy Cunard belonged to that illustrious (family) line.

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Ford Madox Ford’s ‘Antwerp’: The First Great Modernist Poem of WWI

In this week’s Dispatches from the Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle explores a modernist war poem by an overlooked writer

As it’s Refugee Week, my thoughts have turned to poetry about refugees – such as Auden’s ‘Refugee Blues’ and the lines from the Elizabethan play Sir Thomas More (which may have been penned by Shakespeare) about the plight of refugees in Tudor London. Modernist poetry, too, treated the plight of refugees during and after the First World War, and one of the first poets to do so was Ford Madox Ford, better known now as a novelist.

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Four Short Poems by Joseph Campbell

Joseph Campbell (1879-1944) was an Irish poet who wrote in both English and Gaelic (publishing his latter work under the name Seosamh Mac Cathmhaoil or Seosamh MacCathmhaoil). Like pioneering modernist poet T. E. Hulme, who was four years younger than him, Campbell wrote a small number of short poems in free verse and utilising a pared back and understated style. There is no rhetoric here, no outpouring of emotion (perhaps too little for some readers); but what these poems show is the emergence of a distinctly modern style of poetry that rejects the gushing excesses of the worst Victorian verse. Written towards the end of the first decade of the twentieth century, they are among the first poems written in English which can be confidently labelled ‘modern’.

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10 Short Poems by T. E. Hulme

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

We’ve written about T. E. Hulme (1883-1917) before, in this previous post on his importance as a modern poet. In this follow-up post, we’ve put together ten of Hulme’s shortest and sweetest poems – most of which were written in around 1908-9 when Hulme was in his mid-twenties.

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