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Extra resources for A Study of the Poems of D. H. Lawrence: Thinking in Poetry

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The later poetry, Pansies (1929) and Nettles (1930), hears only the discordant noises of the city, like George Saxton, and sees in the movement of the masses a mere mechanical robotism. But in these early city-poems the sordid and the corrupt are only one side of the coin, and the nature-culture relationship is a much more subtle interplay: witness the 'townly foliage' of the rows of new houses spreading like strange plants from Croydon into the Surrey countryside. Corot, which despite its ostensible subject was originally part of the Transformations series, is a presentation of flux as a purposive, creative whole, achieved through the evocation, which is sustained and followed through for the entire length of the poem, of a landscape stirring in the dawn breeze.

Lawrence he saw for mankind would not now come about through a process of evolution, but by means of sudden, cataclysmic change, spontaneous, unheralded, and 'destructive-creative'. In the 1928 Dreams Nascent (173-6), the emphasis is overwhelmingly (fifteen stanzas out of eighteen) on the violent destruction of the old. The personal level of the original poem has gone (the railway workers are still there, rather oddly, but the schoolboys have disappeared), the tone has been jacked up one notch from exclamation to exhortation, and the free verse turned into rhyming stanzas, with attendant rhetoric and poetic diction: The whole wide world is interior now, and we're all shut up.

It was during his two years as a student for the Teacher's Certificate at Nottingham University College, which began in September 1906 when he was twenty-one, that Lawrence began to write poetry regularly (continuing all the time with his first novel). The two major manuscript sources for Lawrence's early poetry are none other than two college notebooks, in which the poems share space with Latin, French, and Botany notes, and into which Lawrence copied all the poems he wrote both before and after entering the College, drawing upon them for all the collec- Early Poetry 19 tions he made of his early verse.

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