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A while back I read Nancy Gish on Hope Mirrlees' poem "Paris." It's a long poem in what one might say is the Waste Land mode, except that it was published in 1919--by the Hogarth Press. Nancy's article is available at

Yesterday I found the poem at
and can sympathize with Nancy's high valuation of the poem.
I wonder what other readers think.

Here is an excerpt from Nancy's note:

And what strikes me is less that Mirrlees anticipated by three years Eliot’s radical methods, 
and much not in Eliot—the sustained bilingualism, the 
graphics, and the allusions to many women’s lives and 
work. We have become so familiar with modernist form 
that it is no longer as startling as in 1919 or 1922. Rather, 
what is equally or perhaps more striking is the tone. Like 
Eliot, she creates her effects largely by juxtaposition and 
ironic contrasts; unlike those in  The Waste Land, they 
range across far more emotion and close with anticipation 
neither of utter desolation nor renewed peace (depending 
on readers) but with an awareness of the vile and the joyous, 
even loving and gracious, in a world devastated by the 
Marne that will never again “Flow between happy banks,” 
Poilus, the General Strike, Whores like lions, American 
astigmatism. If Eliot is capable of great heights and depths, 
he is also often narrow in emotional range; Paris takes in 
a day’s experience of all that is there

Timothy Materer
English Department
University of Missouri
The James Merrill Listserv