August is archive month. Posts from the past
George Orwell’s poetry was recently published as a collection. Apparently this is for the first time. Given how famous he is, I wondered why. Surely after his death any unpublished work would have been extra-valuable.
The BBC interview goes some way towards explaining this. According to Dione Venables, the collection’s editor, he wasn’t a great poet and the value of much of his verse lies in what it says about him as a person, not his politics nor poetry in general.
He was a persistent poet. Like many, he discovered the joy of writing verse when very young, but unlike many, he never gave it up, which means that this collection covers a lifetime’s output.
A good deal of his poetry has been available for some time. He published a few in magazines himself, and various websites have selections. The Orwell Prize site has links to several and also to scanned…
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