Here’s an example of the commentary being arguably more poetic than the poem.   Seamus Heaney’s essay on Edwin Muir sums up a too-tidy style:

And yet these poems, for all their admissible harmonies and temperate affirmativeness, impose the order of art a little too amiably upon the disorders of experience.  A pane of Tennysonian glass, such as intervened between the Lady of Shallott and the traffic on the road, keeps the thick-witted world at a remove. 

Loved those expressions concerning the ‘disorders of experience’, and the pane of glass separating the Lady of Shallott from the traffic. 

And long live our ‘thick-witted world’.     

For more on Muir and a selection of his poems, see the Poetry Foundation’s dedicated page.

Source: Seamus Heaney, Finders Keepers: Selected prose 1971-2001 (London: Faber and Faber, 2003), p. 248


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