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Editors’ Note

T he need has arisen in the last few years for a magazine that expresses and explores the growing consensus among poets and readers of poetry—a consensus which can be traced in the critical writing of authors as different as John Bayley, Donald Davie, and Terry Eagleton; in the poetries of Charles Tomlinson, Geoffrey Hill, C. H. Sisson, Philip Larkin, and others. There is a renewed popularity and practice of clearly formal writing, a common bridling at vacuous public and private rhetoric, and at the same time a refusal— confronted with the variety and rich potential of new poetic modes— to surrender catholicity and assume the too readily available stance of the embattled poet or critic. The writers who most interest us as editors differ widely in their views of what the ends of poetry should be, but a substantial agreement exists in their view of the means: the necessary intelligence that must be brought to the poetic act (whether of writing or of reading), the shaping of adequate forms, and, equally important, the responsibilities to a vital linguistic and formal heritage, to a living language, to a living community.

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