Fall 1966 • Vol. XXVIII No. 5 Book ReviewsNovember 1, 1966 |

The Poetry of Politics

Journey To The Frontier: Two Roads to the Spanish Civil War by Peter Stansky and William Abrahams. Atlantic-Little, Brown, $7.50.   "Go and get killed, comrade, we need a Byron in the movement." This is supposed to have been the advice of Harry Pollitt, the leader of the British Communist Party in the 1930s, to Stephen Spender when the poet pledged his support of the Republicans in Spain. Much of the ridicule that has since been spent on the dozen or so English poets who participated in the Spanish Civil War (and particularly on those who survived it) has in one way or another echoed Pollitt's attitude: the only good revolutionary is a dead one, or at any rate one who is prepared to be obediently propagandist—and how sadly comic that those ardent, bookish schoolboys with their private tests and dreams of self-salvation should have thought otherwise. It is surely one of the ironies of recent literature that at no time before or since the Spanish war has the modern poet fel

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