Time and Elegiac in the Later Poetry of Andrew Young


The poetry of Andrew Young (1885–1971) has most usually been contextualized within the landscapes of his adopted home in the county of Sussex, and the Anglican church to which he turned in later life. While turning points seem to characterize Young’s career, his later work is indebted to a long-held commitment to the exploration of a metaphysics drawn from nature and expressed in formal but often surprisingly insightful and subtle poetry. This paper notes Young’s interest in the pastoral and in particular, the way that the forms and commitments of the elegiac take root in his later work. In particular, the companion poems of ‘Into Hades’ and ‘A Traveller in Time’, often considered to be somewhat anachronistic in terms of his poetic development toward a sparer approach, are viewed against the elegiac formulation developed here. This results in a view of Young as still the “superb minimalist” celebrated by his biographer and champion Leonard Clark, but which allows for some elucidation of the themes of time and loss, and the introduction of William James’ concepts of the ‘specious present’ and the ‘obvious past’. Young is then seen as a poet aware to some degree of the mystery of passing time, but who is unable to fully reconcile this with his other metaphysical sureties.

Author Information
Neil Conway, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACCS2023
Stream: Literary Studies / All genres/ Theory

This paper is part of the ACCS2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Conway N. (2023) Time and Elegiac in the Later Poetry of Andrew Young ISSN: 2187-4751 The Asian Conference on Cultural Studies 2023: Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2187-4751.2023.5
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2187-4751.2023.5

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon