Full-text resources of CEJSH and other databases are now available in the new Library of Science.
Visit https://bibliotekanauki.pl


2015 | 24/1 | 59-72

Article title

Elizabeth Jennings and Poetry Reaching Out Towards Transcendence



Title variants

Languages of publication



The article discusses how Elizabeth Jennings, having distanced herself from “The Movement,” engages her work in a dialogue with philosophy and theology, especially with regard to metaphysics and transcendence. The main focus is on the analysis of her poetic idiom based on oxymoron and silence. Jennings’ poetry is informed on the one hand by her Catholic Christianity, reflected not only in the poems’ subject matter but primarily in a religious sense pervading all her poetry. On the other hand it is empowered by Jennings’ belief in the capacity of the imaginative use of words to enter into the metaphysical realm and embody the ineffable. Jennings links human words of poetry with the Word of the divine, and in consequence bestows a sacramental value upon poetry in which she sees a human transcription of the perennial Logos shaping and illuminating the world.


  • Jagiellonian University


  • Edwards, Michael. 1984. Towards a Christian Poetics. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans.
  • Edwards, Michael. 1988. Poetry and Possibility. A Study in the Power and Mystery of Words. New York: Barnes and Noble.
  • Hosmer, Jr., Robert E. ed.n1993. Contemporary British Women Writers. Texts and Strategies. London: Macmillan.
  • Jennings, Elizabeth. 1953. Poems. Swinford, Oxon.: Fantasy Press.
  • Jennings, Elizabeth. 1958. A Sense of the Word. London: Andre Deutsch.
  • Jennings, Elizabeth. 1960. Let’s Have Some Poetry! London: Museum Press Limited.
  • Jennings, Elizabeth. 1961. Every Changing Shape: Mystical Experience and the Making of Poems. London: Andre Deutsch.
  • Jennings, Elizabeth. 1961. Poetry To-Day (1957–60). London: Longmans, Green & Co. (The British Council).
  • Jennings, Elizabeth. 1961. “Introduction.” An Anthology of Modern Verse: 1940–1960. London: Methuen.
  • Jennings, Elizabeth. 1961. Song for a Birth or a Death. London: Andre Deutsch.
  • Jennings, Elizabeth. 1972. Relationships. London: Macmillan.
  • Jennings, Elizabeth. 1975. Growing Points. Manchester: Carcanet.
  • Jennings, Elizabeth. 1976. Seven Men of Vision: An Appreciation. London: Vision Press.
  • Jennings, Elizabeth. 1977. Consequently I Rejoice. Manchester: Carcanet.
  • Jennings, Elizabeth. 1985. Extending the Territory. Manchester: Carcanet.
  • Jennings, Elizabeth. 1989. Tributes. Manchester: Carcanet.
  • Jennings, Elizabeth. 1992. Times and Seasons. Manchester: Carcanet.
  • Jennings, Elizabeth. 1996. In the Meantime. Manchester: Carcanet.
  • Jennings, Elizabeth.1998. Praises. Manchester: Carcanet.
  • Leader, Zachary, ed. 2009. The Movement Reconsidered. Essays on Larkin, Amis, Gunn, Davie, and Their Contemporaries. Oxford: University Press.
  • Mason, Emma, ed. 2012. Elizabeth Jennings. The Collected Poems. Manchester: Carcanet.
  • Morrison, Blake. 1980. The Movement: English Poetry and Fiction of the 1950s. London and New York: Methuen.
  • Ward, Jean. 2009. Christian Poetry in the Post-Christian Day: Geoffrey Hill, R. S. Thomas, Elizabeth Jennings. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
  • Weseliński, Andrzej. 2003. “The borderlands of the text.” PASE Papers in Literature and Culture. Ed. Joanna Burzyńska and Danuta Stanulewicz. Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Gdańskiego. 417–421.

Document Type

Publication order reference


YADDA identifier

JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.