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‘Where the night still hangs like a half-folded bat’: The Poetry of D.H. Lawrence

Chatterton Lecture on Poetry, delivered by Dr Santanu Das, on 9 December 2010 (venue: The Royal Society).

Lawrence the novelist has now eclipsed Lawrence the poet, but he started and ended his career by writing poetry. This lecture will locate his poetry in the literary and oral cultures of the time, and will try to understand its originality and continuing power to haunt and disturb us. In particular, it will pay attention to the linguistic texture of this ‘poetry of the present’ to explore intimate connections between sense perception, structures of feeling, and formal innovation.

About the speaker
Santanu Das is a senior lecturer at the School of English and Drama, Queen Mary University of London and has held postdoctoral research fellowships at St John’s College, Cambridge and at the British Academy. He is the author of Touch and Intimacy in First World War Literature (Cambridge, 2006) and the editor of Race, Empire and the First World War (Cambridge, forthcoming). In 2009, he was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize.

The lecture was chaired by Professor Jon Stallworthy FBA.

More about the Chatterton Lectures on Poetry


This lecture was published as 'Lawrence's Sense-Words' by Santanu Das, in Essays in Criticism, 62:1 (January 2012), 58-82.

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