The secret to great poetry: writing about your own backyard

Some of Britain’s greatest poets achieved international fame by writing about their local area, an Oxford academic has said in a new book. 

Professor Fiona Stafford of the Faculty of English Language and Literature found that the writing of genuinely ‘local’ poetry – as admired by leading contemporary poets such as Seamus Heaney – only began at the end of the eighteenth century, with William Wordsworth’s poems about the Lake District and Robert Burns’s poems in Scottish dialect, about the ordinary people of rural Scotland.


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