Far the worst lack in discretion of compilation is the devotion
of 20 pages to Mr. Aleister Crowley, whose over-blown rhetoric
is so well-known that it surely might have been omitted
—The Manchester Guardian, date unknown.
From Mr. Aleister Crowley’s strange and mystical books
the editor has selected some 20 pages of poetry which we have
contemplated with considerable astonishment, but little
admiration, although we recognise a Promethean grandeur which
elsewhere we seek vanity.
—The Birmingham Post, date unknown.
Cambridge Poets, 1900-1913. Chosen by Aelfrida Tillyard.
5s. net. Cambridge: W. Heffer & Sons.)
Criticism of this volume is disarmed by the modest claim
which Sir A. Quiller-Couch puts forward in his introduction. It
would seem that the public are asked to accept its contents, not
as offering any achievement of permanent value, but as affording
evidence of a body of poetic sensibility and technical skill out
of which some one worthy of the name of poet may eventually
arise. Taken on this level, the selection may be welcomed,
though it cannot be said that many of the thirty-eight writers
whose names appear are either well known already to the reading
public or are likely to become so. Most of the contributions
must be definitely classed under the heading of minor poetry,
such as demands no very warm encouragement in the interests of
literary art. The writing of verses is an agreeable pastime
which is well fitted to develop the artistic appreciation of
those who practise it; but we do well not to make the approach
to Parnassus too easy. Of the writers represented here, perhaps
the most promise is shown by Rupert Brooke and James Elroy
Flecker, but praise is due also to the work of John Alford,
Frances Darwin Cornford, Aleister Crowley, Dermot Freyer, and
Victor B. Neuburg.
Educational TImest, 2 February 1914.