John Middleton Murry



The Condition of English Poetry



Literatur: Murry
Literatur: The Athenaeum


GEORGIAN POETRY, 1918-1919.   Edited by E. M.   (The Poetry Bookshop. 6s. net.)
WHEELS.   Fourth Circle.   (Oxford, B. H. Blackwell. 6s. net.)



The poem which begins with these lines is, we believe, the finest in these two books, both in intention and achievement. Yet no one can mistake its source. It comes, almost bodily, from the revised Induction to "Hyperion." The sombre imagination, the sombre rhythm is that of the dying Keats; the creative impulse is that of Keats.

None can usurp this height, return'd that shade,
But those to whom the miseries of the world
Are misery, and will not let them rest.

That is true, word by word, and line by line, of Wilfred Owen's "Strange Meeting." It touches great poetry by more than the fringe; even in its technique there is the hand of the master to be. Those monosyllabic assonances are the discovery of genius. We are persuaded that this poem by a boy with the certainty of death in his heart, like his great forerunner, is the most magnificent expression of the emotional significance of the war that has yet been achieved by English poetry. By including it in his book, the editor of "Wheels" has done a great service to English letters.

Extravagant words, it may be thought. We appeal to the documents. Read "Georgian Poetry" and read "Strange Meeting." Compare Wilfred Owen's poem with the very finest things in the Georgian book – Mr. Davies's "Lovely Dames," or Mr. de la Mare's "The Tryst," or "Fare Well," or the twenty opening lines of Mr. Abercrombie's disappointing poem. You will not find those beautiful poems less beautiful than they are; but you will find in "Strange Meeting" an awe, an [1285] immensity, an adequacy to that which has been most profound in the experience of a generation. You will, finally, have the standard that has been lost, and the losing of which makes the fatras of a book like "Georgian Poetry" possible, restored to you. You will remember three forgotten things – that poetry is rooted in emotion, and that it grows by the mastery of emotion, and that its significance finally depends upon the quality and comprehensiveness of the emotion. You will recognize that the tricks of the trade have never been and never will be discovered by which ability can conjure emptiness into meaning.





Erstdruck und Druckvorlage

The Athenaeum.
A Journal of Literature, Science and the Arts.
1919, Nr. 4675, 5. Dezember, S. 1283-1285.

Gezeichnet: J. M. M.

Unser Auszug: S. 1284-1285.

Die Textwiedergabe erfolgt nach dem ersten Druck (Editionsrichtlinien).

The Athenaeum   online





Aufgenommen in






Literatur: Murry

Asher, Kenneth: Literature, Ethics and the Emotions. Cambridge 2017.

Bradshaw, David: John Middleton Murry and the Times Literary Supplement. The Importance and Usage of a Modern Literary Archive. In: Bulletin of Bibliography 48.4 (1991), S.  199-212.

Brandmeyer, Rudolf: Poetiken der Lyrik: Von der Normpoetik zur Autorenpoetik. In: Handbuch Lyrik. Theorie, Analyse, Geschichte. Hrsg. von Dieter Lamping. 2. Aufl. Stuttgart 2016, S. 2-15.

Chalk, Bridget: John Middleton Murry and Ethical (Anti-) Modernism. In: Modernism/modernity. Volume 4, Cycle 2, Jun 24, 2019.

Howarth, Peter: Georgian Poetry. In: T. S. Eliot in Context. Hrsg. von Jason Harding. Cambridge 2011, S. 221-230.

Martin, Meredith / Kappeler, Erin: The Georgian Poets and the Genteel Tradition. In: A Companion to Modernist Poetry. Hrsg. von David E. Chinitz u. Gail McDonald. Chichester 2014, S. 199-208.

Kaplan, Sydney J.: Circulating Genius. John Middleton Murry, Katherine Mansfield and D. H. Lawrence. Edinburgh 2010.

Lilley, George P.: A Bibliography of John Middleton Murry, 1889-1957. Toronto 1974.

Pondrom, Cyrena N.: The Road from Paris. French Influence on English Poetry, 1900 – 1920. Cambridge: University Press 2010.

Rogers, Timothy (Hrsg.): Georgian Poetry, 1911- 1922. The Critical Heritage. London 1977.



Literatur: The Athenaeum

Cuny, Noëlle: Le Dialogue de la science et de l'art dans Blast, The Athenaeum, The Signature. In: Revues modernistes anglo-américaines. Lieux d'échanges, lieux d’exil. Hrsg. von Benoît Tadié. Paris 2006, S. 201-217.

Demoor, Marysa: Their Fair Share. Women, Power, and Criticism in the Athenaeum, from Millicent Garratt Fawcett to Katharine Mansfield, 1870-1920. Aldershot u.a. 2000.

Demoor, Marysa: John Middleton Murry's Editorial Apprenticeships. Getting Modernist Rhythm into the Athenaeum, 1919-1921. In: English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920. 52.2 (2009), S. 123-143.

Rose, Margaret A.: The Athenaeum zur Zeit des Vor- und Nachmärz. In: Deutsch-britischer Kulturtransfer im Vormärz. Hrsg. von Andrew Cusack. Bielefeld 2024 (= Forum Vormärz Forschung. Jahrbuch 29, 2023), S. 91-112.

Shattock, Joanne (Hrsg.): Journalism and the Periodical Press in Nineteenth-Century Britain. Cambridge 2019.

Wellens, Oscar: 'The Brief and Brilliant Life of the The Athenaeum under Mr. Middleton Murry' (T.S. Eliot). In: Neophilologus 85 (2001), S. 137-152.

Whitworth, Michael H.: Enemies of Cant: The Athenaeum (1919-21) and The Adelphi (1923-48). In: The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines. Hrsg. von Peter Brooker u.a. Bd. 1: Britain and Ireland 1880-1955. Oxford 2009, S. 364-388.



Lyriktheorie » R. Brandmeyer