The Falling House that Never Falls: Rupert Brooke and Literary Taste



‘Rupert Brooke’s poetry remains a firm favourite with readers and listeners alike’: such might be the opinion of the popular poetry radio programmes broadcast by BBC Radio 4 or, perhaps, the comments in the introduction to yet another anthology of the slim collected works (with a selection of letters added for good measure). Brooke’s reputation, which is at stake here, has never rested on anything other than quicksand. The ‘worth’ or quality of his poetic ability becomes, as has rarely been the case with any but Dylan Thomas, subordinated to a quasi-biographical determinism in which the poetry itself plays little part. It is ironic yet it can be said that the value of Brooke’s reputation is independent of the very work he did to secure that reputation.


British Poetry Modernist Movement Literary Taste Contemporary Verse Hero Worship 
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  1. 1.
    Blake Morrison and Andrew Motion (eds), Contemporary British Poetry (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1982) p. 20.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Q. D. Leavis, ‘The Case of Miss Dorothy Sayers’, in F. R. Leavis, A Selection fromScrutiny’, vol. 1 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1968) p. 145.Google Scholar

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1995

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