With the removal of death from the public sphere, mourning has become a private matter. At the same time, particularly in poetry, the trend is reversed. An intensely elegiac quality and a focus on absence, death and loss can be observed in contemporary Anglophone poetry.
This study shows the poetry of Andrew Motion in the context of the contemporary elegy, a genre which is at a crossroads between the anti-consolatory refusal to mourn, the inability to move past grief, and the strong wish for redemption from grief. Motion's poetry, which mainly deals with pre-emptive attempts to cope with loss, can be seen as a typical example for the contemporary melancholy mood in poetry.