Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Poems in English

Manuscripts | Publications | Reviews


Richard Coe, reviewing the 1977 Calder edition of Beckett’s Collected Poems in English and French in the London Times Literary Supplement (15 July 1977), wrote:

It is a singular fact that the writer who has exercised the most profound influence over the third quarter of our by-and-large unpoetic century should be a poet whose formal ‘poems’ oscillate between the obscure, the imitative and the awkward, who at one point abandoned his own language for another precisely in order to avoid writing poetry, and who has finally fashioned a form of linguistic denudation—words used like a child’s set of building-blocks—so utterly opposed to poetry in the Tennysonian sense that it suggests not so much stoicism as suicide.