F.T. Prince (1912-2003) is now emerging as one of the most distinctive voices of twentieth-century Anglophone poetry. Born in South Africa, he came to England in the 1930s, where he studied alongside Stephen Spender and W.H. Auden. First published by T.S. Eliot, and celebrated in his day by poets as various as Siegfried Sassoon and John Ashbery, his poems have long intrigued readers with their formal experiments, Baroque influences, and intellectual puzzles. During his own lifetime, he found fame with the war poem ‘Soldiers Bathing’ (1942), and was known chiefly as a Milton scholar. However, this collection of specially commissioned essays sheds new light on his achievements and reveals his central place in the story of modern poetry. Enthralled by the canon, yet embraced by the avant-garde, he has influenced poets from Geoffrey Hill to Susan Howe, a unique conduit between modernism and the Movement, British regionalism and American cosmopolitanism. Yet his poetry is not merely of interest for its continuing influence on wider tradition. Subtle, original, and various, F.T. Prince’s poetry asks important questions about power, responsibility, and collective memory.
'Reading F. T.Prince develops something of a consensus about which poems matter most. A good many works are discussed, but only a few recur repeatedly. This is an impressive collection, which helps to make further work possible.'
Sean Pryor, The Review of English Studies
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