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Extra resources for A Study of the Poems of D. H. Lawrence: Thinking in Poetry

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As the manuscript Transformations puts it4 1), just as Cyril in The White Peacock enjoys the 'stupendous poetry' of London, whilst his companion on a visit, George, who cannot take in this larger harmony, and only hears the discordant notes provided by the down-and-outs on the Embankment, hates the 'big, coarse contrasts' of the city, and is moved by the disparities he sees to a temporary adoption of socialism. 42 This aesthetic appreciation of the world made by man seems to go with the optimistic humanism of the first Dreams Old and Nascent; socialism, as Cyril argues, being the product of a basically pessimistic view of human life, that can see only its ugly aspects.

The unifying imagery of the earlier poem is replaced by a very obvious and deliberate phallic symbolism. Revised, the poem is the utterance neither of the young man nor of his demon, but of an older and still frustrated man, despite the somewhat redeeming humorousness. The difference is that the blame for this frustration is now placed on 'the rest of men', which makes it difficult for us to respond any longer to the plight of the virgin youth, with full sympathy for the basic humanity which was originally present in his experience of more-than-human forces.

Something akin to this scene from Manifesto is acted out in the earlier version of The Wild Common, where the reflection in the water, the quivering, unstable 'white shadow' and 'insolent soul', is rebuked, and the protagonist, presumably, leaps through it into the embraces of the water, which holds him like the 'blood of a 24 A Study of the Poems of D. H. Lawrence heaving woman', his own 'supple body', his substantial self and being, defined by its contact with and immersion in the element of the 'other'.

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