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This book - a most important and original contribution to the literature of interpretative criticism -contains the Clark Lectures delivered at Cambridge University in 1946. Its theme is poetic imagery, not only in its stricter sense of simile, metaphor and image, but in the wider application of the term, by which every good poem is itself a total image made up of a multiplicity of component images. The book is therefore more than an academic study of one aspect of poetic material and technique: it is an investigation into the nature of poetry itself, taking as its clue the belief, as old as Aristotle, that the power of image-making is the one sure sign of poetic genius. Beneath all the manifestations of the poetic image, Mr. Day Lewis traces one principle at work - the ' abiding impulse in every human being to seek order and harmony behind the manifold and the changing'.

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