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Title: Jack Clemo : poet in white silence : a critical analysis, and, Stripping the cadaver : a collection of poems
Authors: Sandford, Rosemary Ada
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This is a hybrid thesis in two parts, one critical and one creative. The first chapter of the critical part examines selected poems from Clemo’s first five collections, beginning with The Map of Clay (1961), containing three series of poems written over twenty years, followed by Cactus on Carmel (1967), written after he became deafblind. After marriage at fifty-two he wrote The Echoing Tip (1971), Broad Autumn (1975), and A Different Drummer, (1986). The chapter examines the impact of his mother’s religion, his environment and limited education, his attacks of childhood blindness, and the onset of deafness at nineteen on the development of his poetry. It traces his internalised conflicts, and projection of emotions in relation to disability, onto some subjects, and explores the way Clemo’s poetry widens in scope after marriage, moving away from a harsh, narrow religious perspective, to a more tolerant and ecumenical outlook. Chapter Two concentrates on Clemo’s penultimate collection, Approach to Murano (1993). It follows the further development of his thought after he moved to Weymouth in 1984, and visited new places, including Venice. It looks at how he met the challenge of writing descriptive poetry about places never previously seen, and his dependency on his wife to interpret his surroundings. Chapter Three is concerned with his final collection, The Cured Arno, posthumously published in 1995. This includes poems written about his second visit to Italy in 1993. It examines his need to resolve life-long conflicts, and to confirm the validity of his religious and aesthetic ideas. There is an introductory chapter linking the critical section with the collection of poems. Part One of the collection, Stripping the Cadaver, engages with Clemo and with deafblindness. Part Two is a more personal body of work exploring the same themes.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

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