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Letter: Charles Tomlinson obituary


To his undergraduate students at Bristol in the 1960s, Charles Tomlinson was that rare thing, an acute literary critic who was also a working poet and a consummate practitioner of his art.

In a School of English where doctrinaire, Leavisite attitudes still led to battles over critical orthodoxy, Tomlinson’s lectures on 20th-century poetry simply illuminated his subject. The revolution brought to English verse by – as he put it – “two Americans and an Irishman”, with Eliot, Pound and Yeats in mind, came alive through his readings and commentary, and he epitomised for many of us the clarity, intellectual sharpness and telling humour of the best kind of university teacher.

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