Cock Robin's Decease An Irregular Inquest

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Cock Robin's Decease An Irregular Inquest




This book, written by the editor of the "Sixpenny Poets" series published by Benn, dicusses the difficulty of publishing poetry following WWI. With a serious attention to matters of the sale and marketing of poetry, Thompson describes what he calls the "sixpennying" of poetry as an undervaluing of the genre by a wide public. He sets up the book as what he calls "An Irregular Inquest" in which he enacts a trial for the crime of killing poetry. He acquits poets, publishers and the public, and condemns reviewers and their editors. Thompson makes reference to the sad state of publishing new writing, but notes that he can see "one partial exception" to his statement that new poets will not be accepted by publishers, but that "since he is publishing this essay, I cannot say what I think of the poetry he publishes." Since the essay was not previously published, it can be assumed that he refers to Leonard Woolf. He continues, in a statement that reinforces Leonard's own summaries of the Press's mission: "(My opinion would be quite respectful, but, in brief, I think his activities here valuable chiefly as a part of his effort towards freedom and freshness of thinking)" (11).