A Defence of Poetics
I have a confession to make. I find myself as drawn to Thomas Love Peacock’s attack on his craft in ‘The Four Ages of Poetry’ (1820) – the essay which provoked Percy Bysshe Shelley’s ‘A Defence of Poetry’ (1821) – as I am to that work which this publication celebrates.
Peacock’s essay is notoriously difficult to interpret. On the one hand, Peacock was a master ironist, and we should never take him at his word; on the other, he virtually gave up poetry after writing this essay, dedicating himself to novels, critical prose, and his apparently more fulfilling job at the East India Company. What makes it harder is that his novels, largely unread in the twenty-first century, are usually satirical dialogues modelled upon those of Plato. Like Plato, most characters in Peacock are either thinly veiled portraits of real people or idealised representations of the supporters of a particular ideology. Unlike Plato, there is no Socrates – no authoritative and irrefutable figure who sets everyone straight. As a result, it is impossible to tell which character, if any, represents Peacock’s “truth”.
Yet these dialogues perhaps provide the best way to explain ‘The Four Ages’. It is not a standalone work, but a piece of provocation written with the desire, the need, for a response. Like his novels, it is dialogic. Peacock wants Shelley’s reply. The two of them were, after all, friends who revelled in provocative conversation and good-natured disagreement, but who were now separated by thousands of miles – Shelley having travelled to Italy, while Peacock remained in Britain. Their conversation needed to take place in the form of the written word, and what more provocative way to goad Shelley than in the public sphere. Published in the first (and, as it turned out, only) issue of Ollier’s Literary Miscellany, how could Shelley not respond to Peacock’s essay? A public attack necessitates a public defence.
It is worth remembering, however, that, privately, Shelley responded to Peacock good-naturedly, to some extent seeing the funny side of ‘The Four Ages’ even if it ‘excited [him] to a sacred rage’ (Letters 261). In his poem, ‘Letter to Maria Gisborne’(1820), he wrote of Peacock: ‘His fine wit | Makes such a wound, the knife is lost in it’ (241-42). In the savagery of his irony, Peacock disappears. His is ‘A strain too learned for a shallow age’ (243). Shelley knew that Peacock’s wit would go unappreciated and misrepresented, and he has not been wrong in that estimation. Indeed, Shelley remains one of Peacock’s most perceptive readers.
What makes Peacock’s essay so important is that it punctures complacency regarding the cultural value of poetry. Then as now, the significance and the usefulness of poetry – and indeed the other fine arts – could be all too easily assumed. The phrase “art changes the world” will be familiar to most. Peacock asks us two questions: does it? and, if so, is it always for the better? While we should not mistake for his own opinion the insinuation that poetry is always a conservative political force, Peacock’s argument has historical basis, and it demands not only that poets justify themselves, but maybe that they change their ways of working and their attitudes to power. Despite the cold and impersonal irony to be found in every letter of Peacock’s essay, there are deeper evocations – those of a troubled, self-doubting poet. (Peacock was, after all, a great lover of poetry and had huge ambitions for his own poetical works). Echoing beneath Peacock’s argument is what Coleridge called ‘the anxiety of authorship’ (I.233), what Harold Bloom called ‘the anxiety of influence’ (passim), and what Romanticists Andrew Bennett (18) and Lucy Newlyn (passim) have respectively termed the anxieties of posterity and reception. Amidst the irony we can hear the distant murmur of the (hopefully unfounded) fears that I suspect many poets share: that there may be nothing more to be said, that the existence of great poets renders a poet’s efforts futile, that there is little reason and little good to be had in the writing of poems.
These anxieties are what makes Shelley’s ‘Defence’ so affecting a work. Peacock’s argument is historical, erudite and utilitarian, but Shelley matches him, blow for blow. As Marilyn Butler has said, Shelley answers Peacock’s enlightenment historicism (which suggests that the past is dead and buried) with the Romantic perception of history as a living thing which is as much of the present and the future as it is of the past (142). History has shaped, and is still shaping, us. Peacock’s empirical utilitarian view of what a poem does, is matched with Shelley’s philosophical, though no less utilitarian, argument for poetry (not poems) as a living cultural force, a Platonic ideal under and above existence – something not unlike Coleridge’s pantheistic view of the one God existing in all things, of which poetry was the expression. Shelley shows himself to be as erudite as Peacock, and as sceptical of his contemporaries (particularly the Lake Poets) but refuses to take Wordsworth as a sign of poetry’s fundamental decay. And while Peacock only implies a potential rebirth of poetry (his view of the ages is, after all, cyclical), Shelley explicitly expresses his faith in the future of poetry. While Peacock questions the influence of individual poets and individual poems, Shelley sees poems as the raindrops that can accumulatively cause the flood. For Shelley, it is not in poems, but in the cultivation of poetry as an artform that the world is changed. It would be too easy to mistake the legislative powers of Shelley’s ideal poet as the polar opposite of Auden’s poet who ‘makes nothing happen’ (II.5). Shelley’s poet doesn’t make everything happen, but something – and, for me, it is in that active potential that the excitement of writing poetry truly exists. Peacock interrogates us and attacks our complacency; Shelley gives us belief and hope. I don’t necessarily think that either poet gets poetry exactly right – far from it, in fact – but that dialogic interaction between the two pieces does get something right. And it is for this reason that texts of both have been included in this project.
Ben Lerner, in his reverentially irreverent book The Hatred of Poetry, observed that poetry has ‘been defined for millennia’ by ‘a rhythm of denunciation and defense [sic]’ (10). This might be one of poetry’s greatest strengths. It is an artform never allowed to rest on its laurels (pun intended). And that attacks on poetry so often come from within The Poetry World only serves to highlight an art that wants more from its writers and its readers, that wants to be better. Thus Lerner’s book is ‘written in [poetry’s] defense, and in defense of our denunciation of it’ (113). As the essays collected in New Defences show, the distinction between attack and defence is rarely a clear one. (Indeed, Peacock’s infamous attack on poetry is a covert defence of a particular kind of reading – one that focuses on the poetics of Classical literature.) As the old cliché goes, the best defence is a good offense.
One of the things that has been so rewarding in producing this publication is witnessing that dynamic, that dialogue, that dialectic of faith and scepticism which calls for more, continue in the pieces submitted to this project. The world needs discussion, the back and forth of disagreement. We need scepticism to challenge the increasingly prominent belief, in this age of social media, that ideologies can be not just irrefutable, but somehow beyond dispute. In the face of populist cynicism, we need the politics of hope. Of course, in these new defences, the line between scepticism and faith is not so clear cut as it might seem in the Shelley-Peacock dynamic, nor do these essays constitute a simple series of oppositions. Essays like Leontia Flynn’s ‘Radically Necessary Heaney’ seem to play out both roles, expressing a wavering hope for what poetry can do in the face of anxieties about what poetry is doing. Stephen Wade’s ‘Fur and Claws’ calls for poems that bite and scratch, not that soothe in being stroked, but then Jane Burn argues that the soothing fur of a poem is precisely what gives a poet her claws. Both Polly Atkin and Toby Martinez de la Rivas (in essays that explicitly engage and argue with Shelley) attempt to temper the grand claim for poets as ‘legislators’, but nonetheless giving poetry power in its smallness. Atkin calls poems ‘tiny agent[s] of provocation’, and Martinez de la Rivas (quoting R.S. Thomas) ‘“infinitesimal deflections”’, ‘tiny nudges in the being of God’ – moments of hopeful, sceptical faith.
It seems that the question of what poetry is remains as relevant now as it was to Shelley and to Wordsworth before him, and this collection is a testament to an artform that Olivia McCannon calls ‘protean, multiple, kinetically unpredictable’. Even those essays that do not broach the Ultimate Question of “What is Poetry?” provide their own unique answers to the enquiry. As Gregory Leadbetter puts it, ‘Poetry defies comprehensive definition, but to present a defence [….] is in some way to define it’. In Philip Gross’s open definition, the word Poetry ‘holds whatever meanings cultures have attached to it’ – and he thus encourages us to listen to varying definitions as part of an essay that advocates for better listening throughout our lives. (Indeed, its call to listen to dissent and disagreement makes this article the perfect opening to these new defences.) If we listen, we find poetry in these essays taking the form of an existential act, a therapeutic tool, a political agitator, a provocateur, a prophet, a clawing scratching animal, a construction of self-hood, an endeavour that restores the isolated pavilion.
This need to define poetry inevitably reignites the desire to situate it antithetically, to ask “What is the opposite of Poetry?” Shelley and Wordsworth both argue that prose is not poetry’s antithesis, instead suggesting philosophy, science, history – what Wordsworth called ‘Matter of Fact’ (602). That is, these poets make not a formal, but a disciplinary distinction. Poetry is not a literary genre or form, but another mode of recording and investigating the world and our place in it. It is a form of perception. In these New Defences we receive a number of attempts to break down what William Alderson calls (in his challenge to this opposition) ‘the binary division between prose and poetry’, with several suggestions for poetry’s opposite, which include ‘algebra’ (Gross) and even ‘hypnosis’ (Leadbetter) – the latter of which implies that poetry is a state of mind, one of unsuggestable wakefulness.
Alongside this imperative to unpick old oppositions and resituate poetry within new ones, there is the recurring image of poetry as the product of, or as spanning and incorporating, antitheses: ‘activity and passivity, the voluntary and the involuntary, presence and absence, concinnity and spontaneity, knowing and unknowing’ (Leadbetter). ‘Poetry thrives on paradox’, as Ciarán O’Rourke says (invoking Cleanth Brooks’s influential essay ‘The Language of Paradox’); ‘In poetry, every contradiction is a kind of balance’. Something similar is found in Linda France, for whom writing poetry is ‘walking the path of paradox’. For Gross, ‘the contradictions are [poetry’s] constant dynamic […] a source of friction and of energy’. For That paradox is central to the transcendent nature of Christian mysticism – Brook’s essay famously ends with the image of a phoenix rising from the flames, reborn in dying, transcending death (15-6) – helps us understand the near-spiritual relationship many poets have with their vocation – a relationship so often on display in these essays.*
This question of what poetry even is sits readily alongside questions of what constitutes a defence, what poetry needs defending against, and whether it even needs defending at all? The poets in this collection defend against a variety of perceived assaults on their craft, but there are numerous shared anxieties that flow through these pieces: the reductionism of social media and the immediate gratification that is demanded by the act of “liking” (see, in particular, Leontia Flynn’s essay); the academisation and professionalisation of poetry under the heading of Creative Writing, and the spectre of Impact that is the remit of the modern university; the commodification of poems, and the subjection of poetry to market forces; the precarious financial situation of many poets; the competitiveness of grants, awards and prizes, and the poetry-sapping applications that go with them; the inadequate teaching of poems to the young, and the life-long effect that that teaching can have on the public perception of poetry. Michael Brown, a poet and teacher of poetry, focuses on the treatment of poetry as ‘dispensable’ in education (being made optional during the pandemic), whilst simultaneously agitating against the way it is analysed even when it is on the syllabus. For Brown, poetry needs to be taught and to be taught better. A recurring incident in these essays is Jeremy Paxman’s claim in 2014 that ‘Poetry has connived at its own irrelevance’ (qtd. in Flood) – a claim which feeds into and is fed by all of the anxieties listed above. Such shared grievances highlight the feeling that poetry is still under attack, both implicitly and explicitly, from a world not in rhythm with its transcendental music.
In defending poetry as a socio-political force, the most prominent social issue in the submissions received was that of the climate crisis. What was most surprising and powerful about those essays by Linda France, Diane Pacitti, Helen Moore and Angi Holden was how these authors linked their defence to ongoing projects and to their own continuing poetic practice. These pieces are as much descriptions of action as they are calls to it. The sense of a living world to which we belong that permeates these essays translates into a living activism that we are encouraged to participate in ‘as if our lives depend on it. Which they do’ (France).
It is not, however, solely from without that poetry is under threat. Threats to – or, at the very least, provocations to – poetry still appear to exist within the poetic community, just as the poet Peacock brought the attack that provoked Shelley. Antony Huen powerfully defends poetic ekphrasis against other poets’ insinuations that poems about paintings have become frustratingly, perhaps even tediously, ubiquitous, while W.N. Herbert defends ephemeral forms of poetry against the familiar discourses of longevity and universality that have surrounded poetry for millennia. Flynn’s essay, in a similar vein, stands defiantly in opposition to narratives of utility (which include both Shelley’s and Peacock’s defences), celebrating instead ‘the lovely uselessness of poetry’. Jeremy Wikeley even defends poetry from its defenders, who risk misrepresenting poetry through what might be termed “poetic reasoning”. These are defences that suggest that poetic traditions can be inhibitors of the individual talent, and that a modernist or avant-garde rejection of ingrained values might be as necessary now as at any period in history.
Some contributors, of course, posit that poetry defends itself, that it is its own defence, and requires no intervention on its behalf. For Atkin, ‘Poetry does not need a saviour. It can disclose itself. It is free to come and go as it wills. […] Its existence is its defence’. Or as it is more wryly put by Herbert, ‘like a sensible rat, poetry will get by despite us’. It’s hard not to agree, at least in part. Plato has yet to banish poetry from the Republic of Letters; instead, he has had to face his own forced entry to the Citadel of Poets by writers such as Shelley. With a self-defending poetry in mind, McCannon takes the further step of questioning ‘what poetry itself defends’ and ‘the defence that poetry makes’. Poetry, as McCannon says, ‘has agency’, and we must go beyond seeing it as a defenceless entity in need of our interventions. Thus Min-Hua Wu argues that poetry protects the soul, in a time of soulless artificiality, against what McCannon calls ‘the machines and algorithms and systems to which humans have abdicated moral responsibility’. ‘It is humanity’, says Wu, ‘not poetry, that calls for new defences’. For McCannon and Wu, we are not poetry’s defender; it is ours.
Perhaps the most overwhelming feeling in these essays, however, is that of poetry as multiple, ‘multitudinous’ (O’Rourke), multifaceted, ‘a shared endeavour of many hands’ (Leadbetter), ‘made of manypoems’ (McCannon). It is not Shelley’s most famous line on poets as ‘legislators’ that haunts these pieces, but his notion of ‘that great poem, which all poets, like the co-operating thoughts of one great mind, have built up since the beginning of the world’. Yet this is taken beyond Shelley, for poetry in these essays is rarely singular. There are ‘poetries’ (McCannon, Daljit Nagra) and we must be open to them, must listen to them and accept them in their dissent and difference. These are poetries which engage in multiple and complex ways with language and with languages (human, animal, algorithmic). Translation (across languages, across poetries) is a mode of poiesis that needs defending. Jeff Kemp’s essay is a testament to a single line of poetry speaking across languages, cultures, religions and borders.
Yet there remains an anxiety at the heart of this collection. This regards poetry’s potential for harm. A natural reaction to the investigation of what good poetry can do, is to question of what bad it is capable. ‘Poems are not intrinsically good moral creatures’, as Mona Arshi puts it. For O’Rourke, avoiding harmful narratives requires ‘a conscious act’; poems ‘must be made to be’ moral beings. In short, harm is part of the active potential, of the “something” that poetry can do. Shelley might argue that it is poets and poems that are a fault, not poetry, but we might ask (with healthy scepticism) if “bad” poems do not also contribute to that one great poem spanning the ages. A question that hovers around numerous essays – most explicitly in that of Sean O’Brien – is: what is a poet’s responsibility? We’ve heard the platitude that poets (and artists in general) have a responsibility to “tell it like it is” – a phrase which seems little more than a licence to act without restraint. But how do poets “take responsibility”? Poets should never rest on their laurels, should never assume the morality and ethicality of their writing. As Atkin says, ‘I have seen many terrible things done and said and written by Poets that I see no moral good in’. It is in this area of discussion more than anywhere else, that these New Defences blur the line between attack and defence.
Whether we agree or not with the grounds for these defences, with the claims they make for or against poetry-reading and poetry-making, they combine to challenge so much of our poetic and extra-poetic worlds, and to provoke us to deeper contemplation and examination. In facilitating and encouraging such conversation, I would ultimately join Vidyan Ravinthiran’s plea for a ‘vocabulary’ for speaking about poetry ‘without attitudinizing, one-upmanship, or an unnecessary, in fact self-serving guilt’. As in poetics as in life, we should discuss not to condemn, but to learn and to progress together. If I have learned anything from my (as-yet brief) career in academia, it is how little I know. The more knowledge I attain, the more that I can see knowledge stretching-on infinitely beyond me. And here I tend my tiny plot of dirt, pretending to be its Lord; at best, I am its tenant. In order to face what I do every day, I have had to capitulate to the Socratic notion of knowing that I know nothing – and that slight knowledge paradoxical, contradictory. If the passage from birth to death is one from a state of complete ignorance (tabula rasa) to a state of marginally less ignorance, then forums of discussion, dispute, and disagreement must create space for us to be un- or mis-informed, to be misled and misrepresented, to be flawed in the expression of our knowledge and opinions, and, more often than not, to be just plain wrong. If the basis of our social justice movements is that we are indoctrinated into our prejudices and harmful behaviours long before we are taught to unlearn them, and that education is sparingly doled out to a public knowingly kept ignorant in the interests of power – then an allowance for disagreement, for wrongness, must be made. Discussions such as that of Shelley and Peacock, and those that occur in this publication, are a chance to challenge and provoke existing dogmas, accepted truths, and the prevailing ideologies, systems, orders and fundamentalisms – even and especially those we hold most sacred in ourselves – all within the relatively-safe-and-low-stakes, though-no-less-politically-fraught arena of poetics. It is a chance to practise considering the greatest of all discursive provocations: “maybe you’re wrong” or, worse, “maybe I’m wrong”. This is how we become more compassionate critical thinkers, more nuanced in our ideas, and more unified even in our dissent. Poetics provides an opportunity to argue (in the academic sense of the word) using languages and vocabularies usually banished from political discourse. It is an opportunity to proceed using the tools of what we might call Poetic Reasoning: word-play, puns, rhyme, metaphor, allegory, allusion, association, paradox, antithesis, juxtaposition – all the various kinds of likeness and unlikeness. It is that imaginative mode of perception brought into the extra-poetic realm. Poetry is a small community, but the values of free discussion, argument, dissent, provocation and assuagement can exist within it in microcosm and, as I like to think Shelley might argue, that existence in micro could maybe, possibly, hopefully, be the beginnings, the rehearsals of it in macro. But then, as I am sure Peacock would point out, we should also be sceptical of that belief…
A second confession: I have been deeply affected by this project. Reading this introduction in light of the essays collected, you will see the extent to which I have absorbed them. Not to oversell or hyperbolise it, but I have found my thinking and ways of thinking changed by the closeness necessitated by my role as editor, reading and re-reading, editing and organising these pieces. (A defence of or panegyric for textual editing is maybe needed here…). I believe that we often see ourselves in poetics as much as we do in poems. If poetry is scripture, poetics is theology. What Robert Sheppard calls the ‘speculative’ and ‘anticipatory’ nature of ‘the writings writers write about writing’† shares so much with the recurring belief in this collection that poetry addresses and/or exists in futurity. I don’t doubt that these pieces will have longevity, some affirmatory power that will draw readers back time and again. I hope readers will engage with them as closely as I have. I hope the authors will re-deploy them, find second homes for them where they can continue to find new readers. There is so much to be taken from reading these essays.
This project, of course, involved a clash between the two worlds I attempt to bridge and traverse: the creative and the critical. Poems and essays could be said to fit neatly into that antithetical relationship that Shelley, Wordsworth and a number of the contributors highlight. When I tell friends that I haven’t written a poem in an age due to my academic work, they repeat that cliché of “using different halves of your brain”. I think such an antithesis might be wrong, but asking poets – practitioners of a craft that thrives on rule bending, on seeing boundaries as impertinences to be pushed to breaking point – to interpret the brief was always going to involve some give and take, some breaking of my own rules. The first of these came when I received an ‘image-essay’ from Tara Bergin and Alan Turnbull that did not fit the brief, but which did say something profound about the relationship between poetry and identity-construction. (That poetic identity-construction is a recurring theme in my own academic work made this rule-breaking easier.) Olivia McCannon protested against a bibliographic format that subordinates translators, and instead wished to see them listed as co-authors – a protest which won me over. The desire to reduce the amount of a contributor’s own poetry appearing in their pieces was challenged by the essays on ecopoetics which, as I have already said, overtly connect their defences to ongoing projects and practices. I even accepted a couple of previously published pieces from writers that I approached directly, aware that some poets may never want to write more than one essay on a particular subject, or even at all. Some poets who I approached told me as much. Allowing these breaches of my rubric has, I hope, made the final publication better, and they provide a convenient symbol for how the contributing authors have taken this project far beyond my own limited vision of what it could have been.
I have ordered the pieces in the hope of emphasising their conversational nature. (The only exceptions to this are that the three previously published pieces are placed at the end, in order to prioritise the new defences.) All these texts speak to, argue with and debate each other. They interact. They open up contested spaces. I want readers to enter those spaces and get involved. These pieces call for further debate in a fashion that resembles that Shelleyan and Peacockian desperation for free and open conversation, for disagreement. For Jonathan Davidson, poetry is ‘the common-land’. For Gross, it is ‘a place for differences to meet’, it ‘can help us see beyond our own agreements’. Vidyan Ravinthiran desires a ‘vocabulary’ for talking about poetry ‘without attitudinizing’ and ‘one-upmanship’. Robert Sheppard highlights the need for poets to recognise that ‘There are questions that have no answers but there may always be responses’. Daniel Gustafsson even advises a rejection of ‘any ism that seeks to reduce the wonder of the world or traduce our potential to articulate it’ – those isms are for those other, non-poetic modes of perception and reasoning. These are pleas for community and communication, for listening as much as speaking, for “agreeing to disagree” in a profound sense rarely meant in the use of that phrase, for the microcosmic act of unity in dissent within the disciplines of poetry and poetics. My hope is that this will not be the end of the conversation, but another beginning; that it will spark further discussion – friendly, challenging, provocative, self-aware and self-critical, open to change, and full of faith and scepticism – just as Shelley’s ‘Defence’ has, two hundred years later, prompted these poets to speak and, as Gross says, to listen. I do, of course, expect you thoroughly disagree with everything I’ve said.
On the Things Poets Say about Poetry: An Anecdote
In May 2018, I attended a symposium at Lancaster University ‘On and With Paul Muldoon’ – one of my poetic heroes. As the name of the event suggests, Muldoon was in attendance, opening the symposium with a poetry reading. It was very much a novelty to see the subject of a symposium at the symposium itself – especially as a researcher who focuses on poetry from two-hundred years ago. At the end of the event, the second keynote speaker, Clair Wills, took questions from the audience, and the first person to raise their hand was the poet himself. He questioned something Wills and many of the speakers that day had said: that he wasn’t in the poems, that he withdraws from the poems, that he is an absent figure, impersonal, disappearing. Where was everyone getting that from? Wills’s reply was simple: he says it in interviews. A lot. To which Muldoon replied that far too much stock was being put into the things he said outside of his poetry. It was, he remarked, too easy to influence how people read one’s own poems. Like a prayer (or its secular other, a poem), I carry this incident with me everywhere I go within the world of poetry and poetics.
* Notable examples of Christian mysticism operating by paradox are contained in the anonymous fourteenth-century Middle English Text The Cloud of Unknowing, St. John of the Cross’s The Dark Night of the Soul (late fifteenth century) and Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love (late fourteenth century) – three texts which T.S. Eliot invokes in his late work of poetic mysticism, The Four Quartets (1943).
† This phrase is not from Sheppard’s essay contained here, but from ‘Poetics and the Manifesto’ (2014), fully cited below.
Auden, W.H. ‘In Memory of W.B. Yeats’, in Collected Shorter Poems:1927-1957. Faber, 1969.
Bennett, Andrew. Romantic Poets and the Culture of Posterity. Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Bloom, Harold. The Anxiety of Influence. 2nd edition. Oxford University Press, 1997.
Brooks, Cleanth. ‘The Language of Paradox’, in The Well Wrought Urn: Studies in the Structure of Poetry. Methuen, 1968. Pp. 1-16.
Butler, Marilyn. Peacock Displayed: A Satirist in His Context. Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979.
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. Biographia Literaria. Ed. by James Engell and W. Jackson Bate. Princeton University Press, 1984.
Flood, Alison. ‘Jeremy Paxman Says Poets Must Start Engaging with Ordinary People’. Guardian, 1 June 2014. https://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/jun/01/jeremy-paxman-poets-engage-ordinary-people-forward-prize. Accessed 21.07.2021
Lerner, Ben. The Hatred of Poetry. Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2016.
Newlyn, Lucy. Reading, Writing, and Romanticism: The Anxiety of Reception. Oxford University Press, 2000.
Shelley, Percy Bysshe. The Letters Percy Bysshe Shelley, Vol 2: Shelley in Italy. Ed. by Frederick L. Jones. Oxford University Press, 1964.
Shelley, Percy Bysshe. ‘Letter to Maria Gisborne’, in The Poems of Shelley, Vol 3: 1819-1820. Ed. by Jack Donovan, Cian Duffy, Kelvin Everest and Michael Rossington. Routledge, 2014.
Sheppard, Robert. ‘Poetics and the Manifesto: On Pierre Joris and Adrian Clarke’. Jacket 2, 25 August 2014. http://jacket2.org/article/poetics-and-manifesto. Accessed 21.07.2021.
Wordsworth, William. ‘Preface to Lyrical Ballads, with Pastoral and Other Poems (1802)’, in The Major Works. Ed. by Stephen Gill. Oxford University Press, 2000. Pp. 595-615.
All uncited references are to essays in this collection.