David Ellis

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D. H. Lawrence is an anomaly among the great literary figures of the early twentieth century. Although there are many ways in which he is a distinctively modern writer, the attempts periodically made to drag him into the modernist camp are never wholly convincing. This is as true of his poetry as it is of his fiction. Generally acknowledged as his strongest collection, Birds, Beasts and Flowers was published in 1923, only a year or two after Hugh Selwyn Mauberley and The Wasteland; yet the difference from the contemporary work of Eliot and Pound is enormous.

One major aspect of this difference could be described as 'voice': an implicit but nonetheless total rejection of Eliot's doctrine of impersonality. A principal target in 'Tradition and the Individual Talent' is the direct expression of personal feeling in the traditional Romantic mode, and Eliot ends one section of his essay with,

Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion: it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things. (Eliot, 1932, p. 21)

In his own early poetry, there is an absence of any voice which might be identified as directly autobiographical, even if that absence sometimes appears to have been partly achieved (as in the magnificent 'Portrait of a Lady') through a deliberately confusing manipulation of personal pronouns.

Anyone who opens Birds, Beasts and Flowers for the first time, and reads the first lines of the first poem ('Pomegranate'), immediately encounters a 'personality':

You tell me I am wrong.

Who are you, who is anybody to tell me I am wrong?

I am not wrong.

This is the Whitmanesque Lawrence, deliberately aggressive and provocative. As we continue to read 'Pomegranate' it turns out that these lines are not addressed to us but to a supposed listener whose responses, at various moments in the poem, are not recorded and have to be inferred from what the poet himself says (a favourite way Lawrence has in this collection of driving a poem forward and making it dramatic). Yet the first impression they make is of direct challenge to the reader — 'Who are you to tell me I am wrong?' — and since, like 'Pomegranate', both 'Peach' and 'Fig' are also concerned to associate various features of these fruits with the female genitalia, it is not only in their tone that the opening three poems in the first, American edition of Birds, Beasts and Flowers are a challenge. The fourth startles by describing the 'delicious rottenness' which the poet loves to 'suck out' from 'Medlars and Sorb-Apples' as 'Autumnal excrementa'. Well before Lady Chatterley's Lover, here is the Lawrence who is not only quite prepared to shock, but seems to take a good deal of pleasure in doing so.

The challenging, aggressive voice which opens Birds, Beasts and Flowers is far from the only one we hear in it. Lawrence can be gently reflective in a traditional Romantic manner, the tone is frequently humorous and, although he is often interrogative, he is not always defiantly so. There is a great variety of voice, yet everything we hear gives the impression of emanating from the same 'personality' (to use Eliot's word once more). Of course, no one who speaks in public — and the quietest, most reflective of poems are public performances — does so without adopting a persona; but Lawrence's use of various narrative voices in Birds, Beasts and Flowers is quite different from the ventriloquism Pound practises in his Personae (1926), in that they all seem to lead back to the same individual. The communication is indirect only to the extent that we are occasionally addressed through his own putative interlocutor. That this is the poet himself speaking is an impression reinforced by various stylistic devices Lawrence has for conveying immediacy, a sense of the here-and-now. 'Bare Fig-Trees', for example, begins with the suggestion that their wood seems like 'sweet untarnished silver', but in the fourth line Lawrence pulls himself up:

I say untarnished, but I mean opaque —

Thick, smooth-fleshed silver, dull as human limbs are dull

This self-correction draws the reader into the process of composition, the effort to find exactly the right word for what the poet implies he is at that very moment contemplating or remembering. Its apparent willingness to reveal Lawrence making a mistake contributes to a general impression in the collection of an author unafraid to put himself on show, to display both the strengths and weaknesses of his nature.

Quite unlike Eliot, Lawrence is often himself his own subject and, with their otherwise gratuitous details of daily living, several of the poems signal themselves as poetic transcripts from his daily life. A good example here would be 'Bibbles', which describes a dog, living with Lawrence on a ranch in New Mexico, whose indiscrimi nately affectionate nature he both laments and attempts to control, especially after she has gone on heat. The autobiographical status of this poem is established early on when Lawrence describes Bibbles as the 'First live thing I've "owned" since the lop-eared rabbits when I was a lad / And those over-prolific white mice, and Adolph, and Rex whom I didn't own'. This is typical in that anyone unfamiliar with Lawrence's life or work could have no way of realizing that Adolph was a rabbit and Rex a dog (for all the general reader knows they might both have been guinea pigs!). Far from erecting barriers against biographical intrusion, this way of writing accepts that it will happen, invites it or takes it for granted. The rest of 'Bibbles' is self-explanatory and needs no biographical gloss to be comprehensible, but that it is what it seems — a record of personal experience — can be established with certainty by reference to contemporary letters and memoirs. We know from those that Bibbles, and the episodes involving her which are described in the poem, were not invented.

This kind of link is one which cannot always be made, either because the documentation is unavailable or the impression Lawrence usually gives of actually being, or having recently been, in the presence of whatever he is talking about may sometimes be no more than that. The much-anthologized 'Humming-Bird', for example, is still followed in most editions of Birds, Beasts and Flowers by 'Española' (the name of a town in New Mexico), but the poem was in fact written in Italy before Lawrence had moved to North America and before he had seen a live humming-bird — he based the poem on a written description (Sagar, 1985, pp. 215—16). His work is not always quite what it might seem, yet there are no words in this poem to suggest that, at the time of writing, he was or had been in the actual presence of its subject. That is an impression a reader might glean from 'Española', but then this word would have been appended to the poem when Lawrence was in New Mexico revising Birds, Beasts and Flowers for publication, and when he could establish that there was nothing in it which the opportunities he had recently enjoyed for seeing humming-birds in places like Española contradicted. To make that point risks suggesting that it would be to Lawrence's discredit if it could be shown that there were encounters with the natural world which he had entirely invented. Invention is not something Lawrence or any other poet needs to be defended against, yet it simply happens to be the case that many of his poems can be shown to be directly autobiographical. Certainly there are no contradictions between the story of Bibbles which can be followed in the poem and the similar or additional details concerning the dog to be found in various letters and memoirs, so that here we can be sure that what we are being offered is not merely a simulated record of a poet's day-to-day existence. These things happened to Lawrence and he is registering his responses to them more or less directly.

Does then the continual self-exposure or self-display in Birds, Beasts and Flowers, its continual reliance on details from the poet's own experience, mean that, far from having a personality and emotions from which he wanted to escape, Lawrence was always comfortable with both? Not perhaps entirely. It can be argued that, like Wordsworth, Lawrence was aware of how the strength of his personality, or more precisely here his imagination, so imposed itself on his surroundings that it was in danger of condemning him to solipsism: to being trapped in a world so dependent on, or subservient to, his own concepts and imaginings that there was no challenge to him from outside. His fear was then the madness which can ensue from inhabiting a world where there is no genuine other (Ellis, 1994, pp. 233—6). Many previous critics of his poetry have implicitly endorsed this notion when attempting to explain why Birds, Beasts and Flowers is his strongest collection. As its title suggests, most (although by no means all) of the poems it contains concern the natural world and its non-human inhabitants. It is encounters within this realm, the argument goes, which allowed Lawrence to demonstrate his remarkable sensitivity to Nature, but also mark the boundaries between his own powerful personality or emotions and what needs, for the sake of mental health and balance, to escape their grasp. What he has often been praised for is the powerful poetic presentation of 'otherness' in an area where (the accompanying assumption is) he found it easier to recognize than he did in the human world. In his 'Introduction' to the Complete Poems, for example, Vivian de Sola Pinto claimed (rather surprisingly) that in Birds, Beasts and Flowers Lawrence had 'found a new theme which freed him from the trammels of autobiography'. What he presumably meant was not that these were poems in which Lawrence did not talk about his own doings (that he continually does so is what I have just been attempting to establish), but that in them he is not so much concerned as he is elsewhere with his own thoughts and feelings, the record (as it were) of his own spiritual autobiography. In Pinto's view this was because the 'new theme' he had found was an 'exploration of what may be called the divine otherness of non-human life' (Pinto and Roberts, 1964, pp. 11—12).

In his early poetry Lawrence can frequently be found using features of the natural world to express his own feelings; he imposes himself on it, infiltrates its every nook and cranny as if he had completely forgotten Ruskin's strictures on the pathetic fallacy in the third book of Modern Painters (which he must surely have read). His own awareness of this habit emerges in 'New Heaven and Earth' from the collection Look! We Have Come Through! (1917). This is a poem chiefly concerned with the way his wife has at last allowed him to escape solipsism in his human relations, but at one point he looks back on his past and says,

I was so weary of the world, I was so sick of it, everything was tainted with myself, skies, trees, flowers, birds, water . . .

and he goes on to refer to the 'maniacal horror . . . when everything was me'. What he is deploring is the way that, in the past, he has allowed his mood to appropriate features of the outside world for the purposes of its own self-expression. He is recognizing in what he once was that 'merging' of the self into its environment which he came to deplore in Whitman, in part because it resulted not in forgetfulness (lapsing out) but a swollen, ubiquitous self into which everything extraneous had been incor porated. 'I embrace ALL', he derisively quotes Whitman as claiming in his essay on that poet in Studies in Classic American Literature, 'I weave all things into myself' (Lawrence, 1971, p. 174).

Moving from Lawrence's early poetry to Birds, Beasts and Flowers it is not always clear that, in this matter of appropriations, a reader would be aware of dramatic change. Signs of merging may here have virtually disappeared, but there is still a tendency to treat a natural object as a pretext. 'Cypresses', for example, is really not about the cypress as such but how these trees in the Tuscan landscape recall for Lawrence the lost civilization of the Etruscans; and although 'Medlars and Sorb-Apples' begins with several striking phenomenological observations, it quickly moves on to reflections on the 'river of dissolution' theme so prominent in Women in Love and (by a complicated chain of associations) to a celebration of being alone. That the natural objects which are the ostensible subjects in each of these poems rapidly retreat into the background does not make them necessarily inferior. It isn't necessarily against them that what they begin by purporting to describe has not brought the poet further out of himself but rather driven him further in. And in any case there is the vital issue here of quite how the natural world a poet sets out to describe can ever avoid being appropriated by human beings when it is described in human language. To talk about the non-human is almost inevitably to tailor it to our own human concerns.

One remarkable feature of Birds, Beasts and Flowers which allows some temporary resistance to that process is the frequent sharpness and delicacy of Lawrence's observation. Having previously described the branches of almond trees as 'Like iron sticking grimly out of earth', for example, allows him to say in 'Almond Blossom': 'Upon the iron, and upon the steel, / Odd flakes as if of snow, odd bits of snow, / Odd crumbs of melting snow.' The wattles of the 'Turkey-Cock' are described in the poem of that name as 'the colour of steel-slag which has been red hot / And is going cold, / Cooling to a powdery, pale-oxidised sky-blue'; and 'Bat' has some fine phrases about this creature as it swoops under the bridges of the Arno at twilight, its wings 'like bits of umbrella'.

Partly because they encourage visualization, descriptions like this remind the reader vividly that these non-human features of the world also exist outside the landscape of the poet's mind; to a minor extent they restore their independence. We are made aware of the poet in his interchange with an environment which presents characteristics sharply enough realized to suggest that he cannot always have everything his own way. To be this alert to its particularities is to be simultaneously aware of its challenge, of the difference of the natural world from our own. And yet at the same time the imagery Lawrence often employs — tree branches like iron, a turkey's wattles like steel-slag, and especially a bat's wings like an umbrella — tends to emphasize how easily and naturally we make our own, human measure the measure of all things.

Yet if language is so inevitably anthropomorphic in its tendencies, continually approximating the world of nature to human concerns, how is it that critics have been able to praise Lawrence for his ability to convey in Birds, Beasts and Flowers an impression of otherness (divine or otherwise)? The answer partly lies in three or four of the more well-known poems and in particular perhaps in 'Fish'. A very determined and impressive effort is made in the first part of 'Fish' to imagine what it would be like to live in water (to 'wash in oneness / And never emerge' as Lawrence puts it), and to reproduce without any contact with the opposite sex: 'Who is it ejects his sperm to the naked flood? / In the wave-mother? / Who swims enwombed?' But moving on to describe himself sitting in a boat and looking down to identify the fish beneath the surface of a lake, Lawrence writes:

A slim young pike, with smart fins And grey-striped suit, a young cub of a pike Slouching along away below, half out of sight, Like a lout on an obscure pavement . . . Aha, there's somebody in the know!

But watching closer

That motionless deadly motion,

That unnatural barrel body, that long ghoul nose, . . . I left off hailing him.

I had made a mistake, I didn't know him, This grey, monotonous soul in the water, This intense individual in shadow, Fish-alive.

I didn't know his God, I didn't know his God.

What may have made these lines so influential is their explicit rejection of simile and metaphor. The pike as a slouching pavement lout is unusually fanciful for the Lawrence of this collection, a comparison far enough removed from the actual physical features of what he is attempting to describe that one could say that it is not surprising he rejects it. Yet what is also involved in his confession that the pike's god is unknown to him is the implicit discrediting of his immediately previous description of the pike as an 'intense individual', or of its soul as 'monotonous'. In confessing to his ignorance of the god of fish Lawrence is recognizing the limits of human understanding: the impossibility of so standing aside from the human condition that we could ever imagine what it is really like to be a fish. In one sense they are part of our universe, incorporated into it; but in another their world is quite different and separate, with other gods. In associating them with intensity or monotony, we make the characteristic error of imagining that, if we were fish, we would somehow nevertheless retain our human attributes.

Although not so conveniently explicit, there is the same recognition of the mystery of otherness in 'Snake' (the fact that snakes excite fear and hostility in most individuals makes them less easy to assimilate into the human world). It can also be found in what is probably the finest achievement in Birds, Beasts and Flowers, the six poems about tortoises, absent from the first edition because they had already been published separately in the United States, but included in the one which appeared in England. Lawrence is wonderfully alert in this sequence to the strangeness and peculiarity of tortoise life and yet, in marvelling at the independence of the baby tortoise as soon as it is born ('Alone, with no sense of being alone'), and in noting the indifference tortoises show towards one another in what the title of one of the poems refers to as 'Tortoise Family Connections', he is of course applying human standards to creatures for whom they could mean nothing at all. The main theme of the sequence, moreover, is regret at how the tortoise loses its independence through being 'crucified into sex'. The metaphor betrays clearly enough that the regret belongs not to the tortoise (who would hardly know what to do with it), but to Lawrence himself. What however prevents the treatment of the creatures in these poems from making it seem that they are only there for the purposes of convenient illustration is an acuity of observation which continually reminds us of their strangeness. The point could be made by a comparison with 'The Ass', where that animal's present ignominious position is attributed to his having fallen 'into the rut of love'. There is not enough particularity in that poem to persuade us that several other animals or creatures might not have illustrated the point just as well, and the consequence is that we have less a sense of an interchange between the poet and his surroundings than the exploration of a private mental universe. In the introduction to an anthology of 'animal verse' George Macbeth once pointed out that 'All good poems about animals are about something else as well'. He went on to suggest however that, whatever the other concerns of such poems, they 'should be seen through the nature of animals. The apparent content of the poem should at least be a part of the real content' (Macbeth, 1965, p. 7). This could never be a hard-and-fast rule: it would hardly do for the vast majority of seventeenth-century poems about animals; but it provides a useful line of approach to the poems in Birds, Beasts and Flowers, which would not be as interesting as they are if any other choice of subjects could have served just as well for the expression of Lawrence's sexual concerns.

For poets to recognize fully and continually the otherness of the natural world and its inhabitants would leave them with very little to say. Since language condemns us to anthropomorphizing both, the only real issue is one of degree. It is a question of what devices human beings have at their disposal for both moderating the extent of their appropriations and making themselves aware that, in the last resort, they can never know what it is to be other than human. Sharpness of observation is certainly one of these, but another brings us back to that question of 'voice' with which I began. In many of the poems Lawrence directly addresses birds, trees, flowers and creatures of all kinds, either assuming their replies or supplying some for them. This is a familiar activity, best known to us from our relationships with domestic animals. A locus classicus here would be the clown Launce talking in Two Gentlemen of Verona to his dog Crab (sometimes described as the most interesting character in that play). In his second great soliloquy Launce describes how ashamed he was of Crab when he took him as an offering to his own master's inamorata, Silvia: 'O, 'tis a foul thing, when a cur cannot keep himself in all companies' he complains in the Elizabethan equivalent of, 'You can't take him anywhere'. After cataloguing for the benefit of the audience the dog's misdemeanours, and his lack of gratitude for the kindness with which he has been treated in the past, Launce turns to Crab and addresses him directly: 'did I not bid thee mark me, and do as I do? When dids't thou see me heave up my leg, and make water against a gentlewoman's farthingale?' (IV, iv).

Most of us talk to our animals, but Shakespeare's treatment shows both how natural these conversations are and, at the same time, how fundamentally absurd. Something similar might be said of the tone Lawrence adopts in one of the single most successful poems in Birds, Beasts and Flowers, 'Mosquito'. He certainly speaks to its subject here, and in a tone not without a certain understandable belligerence as he tries to protect himself from being bitten:

But I know your game now, streaky sorcerer. Queer, how you stalk and prowl the air In circles and evasions, enveloping me, Ghoul on wings Winged Victory.

Settle, and stand on long thin shanks

Eyeing me sideways, and cunningly conscious that I am aware, You speck.

I hate the way you lurch off sideways into air Having read my thoughts against you.

The attribution of this degree of anthropomorphic intention (a mosquito reading our thoughts) is certainly moderated in this fine poem by descriptive brio. The insect is a 'translucent phantom shred / Of a frail corpus'; with 'thin wings' and 'streaming legs' it sails through the air 'like a heron'; and after it has bitten Lawrence, it staggers with the gorged blood but then, because of its 'hairy frailty', 'imponderable weightlessness', wafts away 'on the very draught my anger makes in its snatching'. But what moderates it also of course is a certain mock-heroic mode in which Lawrence can operate: it was after all one of the poets he most admired, Robert Burns, who wrote 'To a Louse'. There is an inevitable comedy, on which Lawrence is able to rely in this poem, in the disparity between the attributed feelings and its tiny subject. Because of that subject, he is in no danger of conveying the impression that he has deluded himself into believing communication between a human being and a mosquito belongs anywhere but with the former's powers of make-believe. What helps him to avoid that danger also is the fact that, like many other poems in the collection, and somewhat on the model of Donne's 'The Flea', 'Mosquito' is a rounded drama with a finale in which Lawrence wonders at the 'dim dark smudge' his antagonist has disappeared into. In dramas people play their parts, enact a role, and this is what we are made conscious the poet is doing as he converses so intimately with an insect.

There are analogies between the tone of Launce in Two Gentlemen of Verona and Lawrence's in 'Mosquito', but to move from humankind's four-legged friend to a tiny creature with six could well seem strange and an evasion of the issue. If there is no very strict ratio between the danger of anthropomorphic delusion and a creature's size, it is certainly the case that it is likely to be at its most extreme with domestic animals. The intimacy in which we live with certain members of the animal world can easily lure us into thinking they share our concerns and preoccupations. Shakespeare's comedy is a barrier against that mistake. When Launce addresses us, we know from his tone that he knows Crab cannot really be judged by human standards. This is a truth Lawrence might be said to lose sight of in 'Bibbles'. The poem is vivid in its evocation of the 'Little black snub-nosed bitch with a shoved-out jaw / And a wrinkled reproachful look', and it catalogues with precision many of the dog's habits; but Lawrence becomes so preoccupied with Bibbles as a representative of promiscuity (especially in its female manifestations), that he tends to lose the tone, the voice, that would remind us of the gulf there is between human beings and even such an honorary member of the human race as a dog. As Lawrence complains that Bibbles makes no distinction between himself and 'the Mexican who comes to chop wood', and ends the poem with 'All right, my little bitch / You learn loyalty rather than loving, / And I'll protect you', he forgets the fact that, like fish, dogs also have gods who are different from ours and that, as a result, it would be foolish to expect from them too much social discrimination or impose upon them our forms of contractual arrangement.

This judgement might well be a consequence of the impossibility some of us have in reading 'Bibbles' without the letters and memoirs in mind: to avoid the feeling that the poem after all only gives a part of the story. We know from other sources how strangely exercised Lawrence continued to be by his dog's behaviour, and that the poem's conclusion represents only one stage in his hopeless and sometimes violent efforts to change her nature. The openly autobiographical poet, whose manner invites the reader to enquire beyond or behind the text (and how otherwise could we establish the identity of Adolph and Rex?), is much more likely than someone such as Eliot to be a victim of what used to be known as the biographical fallacy - yet why it is a fallacy when we all bring a variety of information to the reading of a poem which it is impossible for us not to remember we know, is not clear. In so far as this reading of 'Bibbles' implies a criticism, however, it is one which would seem to be corroborated by comparison with 'She-Goat'. The subject of this poem is certainly a domestic animal in that, as Lawrence informs us with typical circumstantial detail, she has been bought 'at Giardini fair, on the sands, for six hundred lire' and is now tied up at night 'in the shed at the back of the broken Greek tomb in the garden'. There are impressively acute and striking descriptions of the goat's behaviour. 'Come down, crapa, out of that almond tree', the poet shouts at one moment, in one of several addresses to, and indeed conversations with, the goat:

Instead of which she strangely rears on her perch in the air, vast beast,

And strangely paws the air, delicate,

And reaches her black-striped face up like a snake, far up, Subtly, to the twigs overhead, far up, vast beast, And snaps them sharp, with a little twist of her anaconda head; All her great hairy shaggy belly open against the morning.

'Bibbles' shows that sharp descriptive power, accompanied as it is here by impressive rhythmic control, is sometimes not enough to prevent the slide into the extremes of anthropomorphic delusion, but in 'She-Goat' there is a wondering, sub-humorous tone throughout that inhibits the suggestion that goats can really be measured by our standards. Partly through the strangeness here of a goat standing in a tree, otherness is implied in a way it isn't always in 'Bibbles', even though Lawrence is also preoccupied in this poem with an animal's sexuality. But then the very physical appearance of a goat, somewhat like that of a tortoise, a snake or a fish, reminds us of strangeness, whereas we are so accustomed to seeing dogs in the company of humans that we easily forget that their world is strangely alien also.

In emphasizing the separation between our world and that of birds, beasts and flowers, I am not of course interested in contending that animals never experience what we would be entitled to call feelings, only that the language in which humans describe those feelings tends to be full of inappropriate human implications. Why this should be so could be deduced from Wittgenstein's famous remark that if a lion could talk, we wouldn't understand it. Lion talk would be so dependent on all those aspects of communication which lions would understand instinctively through living together that an outsider would not be able to grasp enough of its context to make it fully comprehensible. Human life is likewise so shot through with human concerns that it creates a gulf between our lives and those who share the planet with us. Not that one is dealing here with realms that are completely distinct (Wittgenstein's dictum would not have the same force if it began, 'If a chimpanzee could talk . . .'). There are ways of talking about animals, some of which Lawrence shares, which are much less anthropomorphic than others. No one could object to describing a dog as frightened, but problems will arise if we want to describe them as experiencing love, nostalgia, regret. In 'Bibbles' Lawrence says that his dog hates having the dust brushed out of her face because that makes her look undignified ('How you hate being laughed at, Miss Superb!'); and he talks of her 'conceit', her 'unblemished belief' in her own perfection. It is not too hard to visualize the expressions on a dog's face to which these attributions could correspond; but there needs to be something in the general tone to remind us that they are after all only façons de parler, ways of talking that we humans have evolved. That is what one finds in 'She-Goat' when Lawrence describes its subject as a 'canny listener', or suggests that the manner in which 'invariably she crouches her rear and makes water' is 'her way of answer if I speak to her'.

As human beings, we leave our taint everywhere. Sola Pinto's suggestion that Lawrence's concern with otherness in Birds, Beasts and Flowers allowed him to escape the trammels of autobiography may be true at various superficial levels (although I doubt in fact that it is), but at the deepest one it must be false. Through language at least, there is no escape for us from what Eliot called our personality and emotions. Whatever we do, and however much we twist and turn, that 'vile self' which Burns's Holy Willie made a point of deploring always gets in. Although he may have occasionally lost sight of this truth in his dealings with the natural world, Lawrence relied on it in working out his attitude to Flaubert's impersonality and what he came to regard as Eliot's 'classicism'. The devices these two writers employed to give the impression that they were not there, in or behind their work, seem to him too transparent to be worth the trouble, and in Eliot's case merely cowardice (Ellis, 1998, p. 383n). The only path to impersonality, in his view, involved a deeper delving into the self rather than futile efforts to escape it. Yet the dangers of self-exploration needed to be countered by continual reminders that there is a world which exists independently of the self and its imaginings. If in many of the best poems in Birds, Beasts and Flowers, Lawrence's endeavours to encounter that world do not reveal an essentially irrecoverable 'otherness', with their felicity of description and their alertness of tone they at least go further than most other 'nature poetry' has to indicate the directions in which it might lie.


Eliot, T. S. (1932). 'Tradition and the Individual Talent' in Selected Essays. London: Faber and Faber.

Ellis, David (1994). 'Lawrence, Wordsworth and "Anthropomorphic Lust"' in The Cambridge Quarterly, xxiii: 3, pp. 230—42.

Ellis, David (1998). D. H. Lawrence 1922-1930: Dying Game. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lawrence, David Herbert (1971). Studies in Classic American Literature. Harmonddsworth: Penguin.

Macbeth, George (ed.) (1965). The Penguin Book of Animal Verse. Harmondsworth; Penguin.

Sagar, Keith (1985). D. H. Lawrence: Life Into Art. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Pinto, Vivian de Sola and Roberts, Warren (eds) (1964). The Complete Poems of D. H. Lawrence, 2 vols. London: Heinemann.

Useful writings on Lawrence's poetry not cited in the text

Dyer's Hand and Other Essays. London: Faber and Faber.

Blackmuir, R. P. (1954). 'D. H. Lawrence and Expressive Form' in Language as Gesture: Essays in Poetry. London: Allen and Unwin.

Draper, R. P. (1974). D. H. Lawrence: The Critical Heritage. London: Routledge.

Ellis David, and De Zordo, Ornella (eds) (1992). 'The Poetry' in vol. 4 of D. H. Lawrence: Critical Assessments. London: Croom Helm.

Gilbert, Sandra (1972). Acts of Attention: The Poems of D. H. Lawrence. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Kalnins, Mara (1992). 'Introduction' to D. H. Lawrence: Selected Poems. London: Everyman's Library.

Oates, Joyce Carol (1973). The Hostile Sun: The Poetry of D. H. Lawrence. Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press.

Pollnitz, Christopher (1982). ' "I Don't Know his God": The Epistemology of "Fish" ' in D. H. Lawrence Review, 15: 1, spring, pp. 1—50.

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