Against Oblivion: Some Lives of the Twentieth-century Poets by Ian Hamilton
Paying homage to Samuel Johnson's "Lives of the Poets", this work offers an account of 20th-century English language poetry, viewed through the lives and works of some of its principal exponents. There are towering figures such as Larkin, Eliot, and Auden, as well as more minor talents, for example Stevie Smith. The text also includes writers who illustrate interesting aspects of poetry, with Allen Ginsberg a prime example. The text includes a substantial essay on each subject, combining biography with critical judgement, along with representative poems. The introduction discusses the place of poetry in the 20th century.