PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
Digital Access to PN Review
Access the latest issues, plus back issues of PN Review with Exact Editions For PN Review subscribers: to access the PN Review digital archive via the Exact Editions app Exactly or the Exact Editions website, you will first need to know your PN Review ID number. read more
PN Review Prize winners announced
Carcanet Press and PN Review are delighted to announce the winners of the first ever PN Review Prize. read more
Most Read... Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Drew MilneTom Raworth’s Writing
‘present past improved’: Tom Raworth’s Writing

(PN Review 236)
Alejandro Fernandez-OsorioPomace (trans. James Womack)
(PN Review 236)
Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Kei MillerIn the Shadow of Derek Walcott
1930–2017

(PN Review 235)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Gratis Ad 1
Gratis Ad 2
Next Issue Peter Scupham at 85: a celebration Contributions by Anne Stevenson, Robert Wells, Peter Davidson, Lawrence Sail

This review is taken from PN Review 17, Volume 7 Number 3, January - February 1981.

RENAISSANCE MAN Michael Roberts, Selected Poems and Prose, ed. Frederick Grubb (Carcanet) £7.95

This welcome collection should revive interest in an altogether remarkable personality who died in 1948 after a tragically truncated but enormously fruitful career as poet, critic, philosopher, anthologist, educator, scientific and social commentator, pioneer ecologist, wartime intelligence man for the BBC and, in the grand litero-athletic tradition of Leslie Stephen, fanatical mountaineer. Michael Roberts, dead at 46, drew an eloquent tribute from T. S. Eliot, fortunately reprinted in this book. Roberts's widow, Janet Adam Smith, introducing his Collected Poems a decade later, portrayed him as an explorer relentlessly prodding those around him in the direction of a greater intensity of life and awareness. His poetry is suffused with this spirit, and to read the considerable body of his work in verse and prose and about his own fiercely energetic life is an exhilarating experience.

Roberts is most widely remembered today as editor of The Faber Book of Modern Verse. Noting another of his still familiar editorial achievements, the celebrated New Signatures anthology, G. S. Fraser called him an elder brother figure to the Auden-Spender circle. But Roberts was by no means a typical thirties man. On the contrary, he transcended the age, a fact well demonstrated by this new selection, from which he emerges as a writer of enduring intelligence and relevance. In the thirties, he went his own way. He criticized Eliot for political aloofness in a decade of desperate need and looked forward eagerly to the elimination of private profit-seeking and to due representation for ...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image