Thanks for these poems, Farasha. "Only versifiers" now? I immediately thought of two of my compatriots: Michael Longley and Derek Mahon. Longley is a fine nature poet, and Mahon, recently deceased, was outstanding, in my humble opinion. I've also been meaning to ask you, if you don't mind, which of the extant Lawrence biographies you'd recommend.

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I suppose there are always bound to be exceptions, but there is certainly a noticeable downward trend. Some of the work of Kathleen Raine and Ted Hughes was true poetry, and there is something undeniably special about Wendell Berry's Sabbath Poems, but the former two passed away decades ago, and Wendell is nearing ninety. I see some verve-filled passionate young prose writers, but nothing I have seen hitherto has shown me that there is a single young (under 50) versifier who could be considered a poet in the true, classical sense. This is a frightening chasm to behold, since without poets as "the unacknowledged legislators of the world" we are left with CEOs as the semi-acknowledged legislators of the world.

Regarding biographies of Lawrence, I would stay far away from the modern and popular biographies. Wilson's Burning Man was almost a burning book in my hands, since it incited such rage in me. For the basic facts, one can't do better than the three volume, 3,000 page Cambridge biography, even though they wrote a blurb on the back cover claiming that DHL died in Venice, Italy when, in fact, he died in Vence, France. For a shorter biography, "Savage Pilgrimage" by his friend Catherine Carswell is well written and sympathetic. I quite like "A Poet and Two Painters" by Knud Merrild, which lets Lawrence speak through his own words. "Lawrence and Brett: A Friendship" by Dorothy Brett is a beautiful book. Henry Miller's "World of Lawrence" is at times frustrating and at times magisterial, but certainly worth reading. Finally, it is quite hard to find, but "D. H. Lawrence: Reminiscences and Correspondence" by Earl and Achsah Brewster is one of the only texts (other than a few of Aldous Huxley's sympathetic articles) that seriously deals with Lawrence as a religious thinker.

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