By M. Lockwood
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Additional resources for A Study of the Poems of D. H. Lawrence: Thinking in Poetry
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. Discord in Childhood (36) escaped major alteration in Collected Poems. The small changes that were made ('she-delirious' for 'delirious', 'male thong' for 'thick lash') improve the expressive quality of the poem, but only by pointing up what is already there.
The wild common, the gorse, the virgin youth are here and now, the same: the same me, the same one experience. Only now perhaps I can give it more complete expression. (850) On the whole, the changes Lawrence has made to The Wild Common injure the poem rather than improve it. The 1928 text (33-4) is longer, more diffuse and exclamatory, and more explicit. 20 A Study of the Poems of D. H. Lawrence Statement tends to replace imagery as a means of representing the youthful experience, and the result is repetition, dilution, and a loss of coherence.
It is only where the process has been worked backwards, and, as in the case of The Wild Common, one stage of development has been falsely superimposed on another, that it becomes open to objection. Virgin Youth (38-40) is another of the 'subjective' poems of this first period which was 'a good deal rewritten' twenty years later, and in which experience has been turned into auto da [e. As it exists in Amores (909), the poem is a direct anticipation of the doctrine of 'phallic consciousness', which Lawrence made into a weapon in his own private culture-war around the time of the third writing of Lady Chatterley's Lover: the same time, that is (late 1927, early 1928), as the revisions for Collected Poems.