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Merlin Enthralled Criticism

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Critics have had opposing views about Richard Wilbur's poetry since the start of his career, mostly disagreeing about the success of his style. Other poets who appeared in the 1940s and 1950s flaunted tradition and tried to impress readers with originality. Wilbur, on the other hand, always worked within conventional forms. Even the critics who found his work sterile and thought that he sacrificed meaning for the sake of style commended his work for its craftsmanship. As John B. Hougen explains it in his book Ecstasy Within Discipline: The Poetry of Richard Wilbur: "It is no doubt Wilbur's reliance on traditional poetic forms in an era when they were out of fashion that muted the praise of his work in some quarters and in others gave rise to blatantly negative criticism." The critics who found Wilbur's work too stiff and formal did not see that his experiments within...

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This section contains 581 words
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Buy the Merlin Enthralled Study Guide
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Merlin Enthralled from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.