PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Mark FordLetters And So It Goes
Letters from Young Mr Grace
(aka John Ashbery)

(PN Review 239)
Kei Millerthe Fat Black Woman
In Praise of the Fat Black Woman & Volume

(PN Review 241)
Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Next Issue Jen Schmitt on Ekphrasis Rachel Hadas on Text and Pandemic Kirsty Gunn Essaying two Jee Leong Koh Palinodes in the Voice of my Dead Father Maureen Mclane Correspondent Breeze
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
Monthly Carcanet Books
PN Review Blog

This report is taken from PN Review 86, Volume 18 Number 6, July - August 1992.

Edward Thomas, Ezra Pound and the Square Club Denys J. Wilcox
During the spring of 1909 Edward Thomas was asked to review a small book of poems entitled Personae by a young American named Ezra Pound. Edward Thomas was immediately struck and excited. by the 'brusque intensity of effect' that he detected in the poetry. The first favourable review that Pound had received was to cause much controversy amongst Thomas's literary friends in The Square Club. The literary establishment did not welcome such honest enthusiasm for a complete unknown. Although Edward Thomas was a member of a number of literary groups and certainly not unpopular among his contemporaries, he remained quietly separate from mainstream thought.

Throughout Thomas's career as a reviewer he expressed grave doubts about his own ability, often feeling inadequate as a person to pass judgement on other peoples' work. In letters to his trusted friend Gordon Bottomley he often articulated this agonizing self doubt; 'I get more and more self-conscious every day - of the little good in myself and work, - of the much bad, - of the futility of reviewing, of my insolence in reviewing any book'. However when Thomas was not in the depths of despair, he often delighted in the discovery of new talent. Perhaps a rare example of the occasional delight that Thomas received from his reviewing can be found in a passage from his book entitled Beautiful Wales; 'Nothing is to be compared with the pleasure of seeing stars thus in the east, when most eyes are watching the west, except ...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image