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8

an andrew crozier reader context in which I read, say, Yeats and also Hopkins as modern poets, but there were no co-ordinates by which to relate Ransom or MacCaig, or for that matter Logue, to those other poets I was led to read by teachers at school. At the same time, in my first two years at university I was more directly involved in activities not concerned with poetry. I was concerned with film societies and I considered the possibility of making films after I left Cambridge. I was fairly closely involved in the anti-nuclear protest movement at the time. I certainly felt that the envisageable future in 1961–62 was not a very distant place: I had a very short-term view of the future because I think that I imagined that there would be destruction of the world in which I lived by nuclear war. What brought that frame of mind to an end was the Cuban crisis in 1962. There was no Armageddon and things resolved themselves in terms of power politics, which was an explanation of the world which up till then my politics had not led me to expect. And so I withdrew fairly consciously from political activity, from serious involvement in looking at and writing about films, and in a certain kind of hiatus in my life at that point, associated with an illness during which I read Charles Olson and Robert Duncan and William Carlos Williams, I brought myself to the point at which, by the end of my second year at university, I was interested in nothing other than poetry, and so I would date my intentional involvement with poetry from the summer of 1963 and my earliest retained, published poems from that summer.

Later in the same interview Crozier referred to being aware of:

an antagonism in the poetic world, in England especially, between the advocates of a formal prosody and their adversaries, less clearly defined, who would be the then contemporary inheritors of the technical aspects of early 20th century modernism. So that, to pin this down more precisely, I read very carefully the second New Lines anthology edited by Robert Conquest, which had a long introductory essay by Conquest which made a number of quite prescriptive comments about the formal organisation of poems, including an argument that there was no reason not to write in metrical forms because any restricted prosodic form nevertheless offered if not an infinite variety, certainly a very high order of variety because of the possibility of variation within a set form. My recollection is that I was not particularly convinced by

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