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New Light on Tony Harrison$
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Edith Hall

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266519

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266519.001.0001

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Close Encounters of the Verse Kind: On Meeting Tony Harrison

Close Encounters of the Verse Kind: On Meeting Tony Harrison

(p.13) 2 Close Encounters of the Verse Kind: On Meeting Tony Harrison
New Light on Tony Harrison

Simon Armitage

British Academy

In a personal and anecdotal chapter, Simon Armitage reflects on a number of encounters with the poetry of Tony Harrison and with Harrison himself. Armitage locates in Harrison's approach to writing a poetry that is "communicative, clear, local, but at the same time crafted, literary, and universal", a poetry at odds with and in defiance of the prevailing post-modern aesthetic of difficulty and obscurity. He celebrates Harrison's poetic autonomy which he associates with the poet's life outside academia, allowing Harrison see himself as a 'poet of the people', despite his scholarly intelligence and his life-long immersion in classical literature.

Keywords:   Tony Harrison, Simon Armitage, Poetry, Autonomy, classical, personal

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