The New Apologists for Poetry was first published in 1956. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
The author's purpose is to clear the ground for a systematic aesthetics of poetry consistent with the insights of our most influential contemporary literary critics. The book is concerned with those of the so-called "new critics" who are trying to answer the need, forced on them by historical and cultural pressures, to justify poetry by securing for it a unique function for which modern "scientism" cannot find a substitute.
This volume provides intensive analyses of work by critics of several persuasions: T. E. Hulme, T. S. Eliot, I. A. Richards, John Crowe Ransom, Yvor Winters, Allen Tate, and Cleanth Brooks, and, for purposes of contrast, D. G. James, R. S. Crane, Elder Olson, and Max Eastman.
Allen Tate, the poet and critic, writes: "Mr. Krieger's book is the most searching in scholarship and the most profound in critical analysis of the existing books in this field."
Robert B. Heilman, critic and teacher, comments: "The author's knowledge of a complex field and his mastery of the analytical techniques which he is applying to a chosen set of critical positions are very impressive. He not only clarifies the positions of various contemporary critics by examining them in the light of the same set of general principles, but also provides some helpful, at times brilliant, insights into the works of various critics from the Greeks up to the present. He traces the history of concepts and thus establishes relationships among individual critics and critical schools."