BD. Edmund Blunden

173. Reviews of Near and Far (27), 1929.


a. Gibson, Wilfred. ‘Mr. Blunden’s New Poems’. Bookman (London) 77: 126-27. Regarding Blunden’s ‘sojourn at Tokio’, Gibson notes that even though the experience ‘must have been to him exotic’, Blunden has not produced the ‘conventional orientalisms of the journalistic globe-trotter’, and his ‘individuality of vision . . . native vigour and . . . profound knowledge of his own country have saved him from writing superficially of another’. One can see in the poems, however, Gibson notes, that Blunden ‘did not feel entirely at home in Japan’.

b. Spectator 143: 416. Noting Blunden’s preface, in which he writes that critics have ‘blamed’ him for being an ‘incorrigible Briton’ in his poems of Japan, the reviewer finds that such critics are ‘superficially justified’ in the claim, but ‘fundamentally wrong . . . in expecting a poet to be a tourist’, for the poet in a foreign land ‘will naturally look for points of unity with his own inner world rather than for mere external diversities’.

c. Welby, T. Earle. Saturday Review (London) 148: 352. Blunden has written of Japan with a ‘delicate circumstantiality’, but in spite of the ‘babbles of rice fields [and] decorative dragons’ in the poems he is ‘incurably of the English countryside’, his imagination ‘stirred not by new things but by those long familiar.’.





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