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This article is taken from PN Review 16, Volume 7 Number 2, November - December 1980.

A Note Michael Schmidt
Professor I. A. Richards, CH, died on 7 September 1979 at the age of 86. He had for several years been a supporter of PNR, publishing poems and articles in its pages and giving us the benefit of his counsel and experience. We valued him as a friend and we shall continue to value him as a poet and critic. It is a special pleasure for us to be able to print here two of his last poems, as well as tributes from various hands.

During his later years, most of his creative energy went into his poetry, and he produced a distinguished-and incidentally a large-body of work. His style and manner are distinctive, his formal control and inventiveness witty and assured. Reviewing his Selected Poems in Poetry, Helen Vendler wrote:

The paradox of all of Richards's work in verse lies in his unshakable decision that life is a journey, with a direction, to a place, one of significance, in an hour, one of accomplishment. The mere fact that the hour does not declare itself, that the place remains indistinct, that the journey seems endless, that the results of the effort are problematic, does not in itself refute the model, but it does make the poems the work of a Tantalus.

The last literal journey that Richards undertook-with a specific destination and purpose-was to China, a return journey with Dorothea. He announced his intention to me in a letter (16 April 1979) apologising for the ...


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