Latest News

Robert Graves Debt

Robert Graves's Debt
to Laura Riding

by Michael Kirkham

Michael Kirkham, the author of Poetry Of Robert Graves (Athlone Press: 1969), wrote this essay for 'Focus On Robert Graves' (edited by Ellsworth Mason, Number 3, 1973). A revised version later appeared in Chelsea 33 (September 1974) edited by Sonia Raiziss in a 'Symposium' on Laura Riding, which also included appraisals by, among others,  Alan Clark, Joseph Katz, Donald Sutherland and Paul Auster, and a lengthy reply to Kirkham's essay by Laura Riding herself. The essay sheds a great deal of light on, first, the reliance by Robert Graves, as far as The White Goddess and beyond, on Laura Riding's work, but second and equally importantly, it throws more light on Laura Riding's poems (and other writings) and the nature of their composition. In Kirkham's words, 'I have discovered that the extent of Graves’s dependence upon Laura Riding’s work is even more considerable than I had inferred [from his book on Graves]'. The contrasts Professor Kirkham draws between the work of the two poets proves illuminating for both.

I am indebted to Michael Kirkham for giving his permission to reclaim this invaluable essay for the Laura (Riding) Jackson website.

View essay>



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *