Lawrence is much better known as a novelist, but his poetry is also certainly worth reading. Though I do not think he deserves the adulation that the Leavis school of criticism, so dominant for so long in Sri Lanka, bestowed on him in the middle of the last century, the neglect from which he suffers, in the world if not here where old habits die hard, is also unfair.
His fame rested for a long time on the sexual aspect of his work, both the openness which sometimes came close to pornography and so appealed much to the young, and also his passionate belief in sexual relations as providing spiritual satisfaction in a bleak and restrictive world. Bloom, though he believes Lawrence needs to be read more, has a rather upsetting take on the matter, since he categorically claims that salvation for Lawrence lay in heterosexual buggery, which seems to me an extreme position.
I would hesitate to challenge so eminent a critic, but this seems to me like those teachers in Sri Lanka who cannot teach one of Lawrence’s best poems, Snake, without stressing phallic symbolism. I am sure that element is in the poem, but it also conveys a more general message too, about the need to accept the world as it is, instead of fighting against natural phenomena.