Reading George Szirtes
George Szirtes is a leading figure in contemporary poetry in England and in Hungary, the country of his birth. His poems explore - in a wide variety of complex, skilfully handled forms - his origins, his life, and his critical engagements with works by other poets and artists. They offer powerful and moving meditations on the roles and functions of the poet in the modern world.
Reading George Szirtes offers the first sustained analysis of Szirtes' work, mapping his development chronologically and thematically, and paying close attention to form and technique in its analysis of each poem.
Haunted by his family's knowledge and experience of war, occupation and the Holocaust, as well as by loss, danger and exile, all of Szirtes' poetry covers universal themes: love, desire and illusion; loyalty and betrayal; history, art and memory; humanity and truth. Throughout his work there is a conflict between two states of mind, the possibility of happiness and apprehension of disaster. These are played out especially in his celebrated long poems and extended sequences, The Photographer in Winter, Metro, The Courtyards, An English Apocalypse and Reel. John Sears offers detailed and lucid readings of these and other key poems - including Szirtes' most recent poetry - relating them to historical events and to work by other poets.
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aesthetic allusion Arbus Auden's Austerlitz becomes Blackbirds Blind Field Blythburgh Bridge Passages Budapest File central collection collection's concern concluding constitutes constructed contemporary counterpoint cultural death desire develops Diane Arbus displacement echoes English Apocalypse English Landscape exile experience explores familiar father figure film formal frozen Geoffrey Hill George Szirtes Georges Braque ghost Hungarian Hungary imagined implicit in-between John Tusa language light linguistic literary lyric Martin Bell meaning meditation Meeting Austerlitz memory metaphor Metro mother movement narrative offers opening Orban's past pastoral perception Peter Porter Photographer in Winter poem poem asserts poem's poet poet's poetic poetry Portrait potential present reader reading reality Reel relation response rhyme Seamus Heaney Sebald seeks sense Short Wave significance Slant Door sonnet 11 sonnet sequence space stanza structure suggests symbolic symbolised T.S. Eliot terza rima themes things tion tradition translation verbal voice W.G. Sebald Wallace Stevens words writing