• Modernist sensibilities in the poetry of Elizabeth Madox Roberts

      Paolini, Christopher A. (2018-12)
      "It is a shame that we do not have more poetry from Miss Roberts (although much of her prose does maintain a distinct “poetic” air). It is a shame that her vision of a Daniel Boone epic in verse will go forever unrealized. But in the two substantial volumes that we do have (and even what exists outside of the bounds of these bindings), we find a unique and enduring character, a modest spirit that manifests with an intensity packed dense with the light of illumination. It is one that reintegrates an intimacy of place-knowledge into man's deracinated modernity, one that regards the patterns of living and life-affirming labor resistant to the “progressive” ideal and the model of values this lifestyle both props itself up upon and engenders as a talismanic catalyst of reformation and rectification, one that finds in the tiniest things intimations of the greatest truths, in the simplest fact the most complex mysteries, in the mind of experience the ability to recognize and even reclaim, if only for a moment, the nascent purity of innocence. It reflects a mind with the instincts of the most sensitive and devout Regionalist and the cultivated sensibility of an abiding Modernist. It might be a stretch to consider Miss Roberts to be “the Pound of the Pigeon River country,” but a sustained investigation and meditation on the distinctly Modernist dimensions of her poetry has been long overdue." -- page 182