Four New Poems and a jeu d’esprit in prose by Christopher Middleton Poems


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Edward Lucie-Smith

Introduction to the chapter entitled “Influences from Abroad” in British Poetry since 1945

"Despite frequent criticisms of its provincialism (induced by a too exclusive 
concentration upon the work of writers such as Larkin and Amis), post-war 
British verse shows a large measure of influence from abroad. The two principal 
sources of this have been Germany and the United States. Some poets were 
indeed born in Germany: Michael Hamburger and Karen Gershon are examples 
of this. Hamburger has been a prolific translator, and produced a notable 
Christopher Middleton. Middleton and Matthew Mead (another translator from 
the German) seem to show the influence of Germany and America intermingled; 
Middleton, like Rosemary Tonks, also seems to have felt the impact of French 
surrealism. American influence has been of two sorts: first there has been that 
of the post-Poundian or 'Black Mountain' poets, perhaps most successfully 
absorbed and anglicized by Charles Tomlinson, but to be felt at least as strongly 
in the work of the poets grouped around Gael Turnbull's Migrant Press. 
Inevitably, there has also been the influence of the Beats- to be seen at work 
here in the poetry of Anselm Hollo."