Sunday, 23 April 2000

From "An Introduction"

by Sam Ladkin & Robin Purves.

The existence of the so-called Cambridge School of poets (or poetry) is one of the most contentious and misleading notions that dog the reception of advanced poetry in Britain. [...] Though informal networks have existed and continue to exist among some practitioners in the vicinity of the University, the principal function of the Cambridge School label is as a useful target attracting mostly hostile feeling and comment by poets and critics working in the mainstream. The label is held to stand for a deliberately inaccessible mode of writing, engorged with critical theory, often held to be "only language about itself" and written purely for the delectation of a smug coterie of reclusive adepts. This second-order gossip, though ill-informed and aimed at nothing that exists, has been persistent enough to obtain a half-life in the media whenever a "State of British Poetry" article is written in a broadsheet newspaper.

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