A Short Analysis of T. E. Hulme’s ‘The Embankment’

July 6, 2015

Interesting Literature

A brief introduction to one of modernism’s most important early poems

T. E. Hulme (1883-1917) was an influential poet and thinker in the first few years of the twentieth century. He left behind only a handful of short poems – our pick of which can be read here – but he revolutionised the way English poetry approached issues of rhyme, metre, and imagery. Few before Hulme had thought seriously to liken the moon to a child’s balloon or the ruddy face of a farmer, but Hulme was resolute that poetry, in the hands of the Victorians, had become stale and old, and needed to be reinvented.

In many ways Hulme’s masterpiece is the following poem, ‘The Embankment’, written around 1908-9 while Hulme was an active member of the Poets’ Club (later the Secession Club) in London:

The Embankment
(The fantasia of a fallen gentleman on a cold, bitter night)

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