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The last century was characterised by an extraordinary flowering of the art of poetry in Britain. These specially commissioned essays by some of the most highly regarded poetry critics offer a stimulating and reliable overview of English poetry of the twentieth century. The opening section on contexts will both orientate readers relatively new to the field and provide provocative syntheses for those already familiar with it. Following the terms introduced by this section, individual chapters cover many ways of looking at the 'modern', the 'modernist' and the 'postmodern'. The core of the volume is made up of extensive discussions of individual poets, from W. B. Yeats and W. H. Auden to contemporary poets such as Simon Armitage and Carol Ann Duffy. In its coverage of the development, themes and contexts of modern poetry, this Companion is the most useful guide available for students, lecturers and readers.