An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum Criticism

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There is not much written about Spender's work as a poet and even less about his individual poems. In fact, much of the critical response to Spender's poetry is negative or tepid at best in its praise. David R. Slavitt writes in Boulevard of attending a lecture given by Spender at Yale in 1955, stating, “He was also, I thought then and still think, a dismally bad poet.” This is the familiar and resounding opinion of but one of Spender's critics. His greatest literary achievement is his autobiography, World within World. No matter how poorly received his poetry may have been by his contemporaries and critics, the bulk of what is written about Spender's life and, in particular, about his autobiography, is heavy with critical praise.

Written in 1951, World within World explores Spender's bisexual lifestyle. It is unusual in its frankness. Spender, who always went to bat...

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This section contains 272 words
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Buy the An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum Study Guide
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