Reading F. T. Prince

Edited by Will May

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ISBN: 9781781383339

Publication: January 23, 2017

Series: Liverpool English Texts and Studies 67

In the USA? Buy the Hardback US edition
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 the 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.

Will May is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Southampton and the author of Stevie Smith and Authorship (Oxford University Press, 2010)


 Will May

Part One: Styling Prince
1. F.T. Prince’s Syllabics
 Derek Attridge
2. The Intaglio Element in Prince’s Verse
 Gareth Farmer
3. F.T. Prince: Truth in Style
 Peter Robinson

Part Two: Debts and Legacies
4. Learned Poetry: F.T. Prince, Milton and the Scholar-Poet
 Michael Molan
5. ‘We see all things as they might be’: F.T. Prince and John Ashbery
 Oli Hazzard
6. F.T. Prince’s Overlooked Lustre of Rhetorical Language
 Todd Swift

Part Three: Bodies of Knowledge
7. ‘My soldiers’: F.T. Prince and the Sweetness of Command
 Adam Piette
8. ‘The completed story incomplete’: F.T. Prince and the Portrayal of National Bodies
 David Kennedy
9. Fugitive Pieces: F.T. Prince and Sculpture
 Natalie Pollard

Selected Bibliography

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


Reading F. T. Prince, the first book-length collection of critical responses, emerging from a centenary conference at Southampton University, offers a welcome opportunity for reassessment and celebration [of Prince].
Tim Dooley, Times Literary Supplement

Format: Hardback

Size: 234 x 156 mm

232 Pages

ISBN: 9781781383339

Publication: January 23, 2017

Series: Liverpool English Texts and Studies 67

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