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Middle English Language Prior to

The arrival of William the Conqueror, the common English language was Old English, which reflected its Germanic roots more distinctly than Middle English. The Norman Conquest, however, changed this. The Norman French influence, and the subsequent development of an Anglo-Norman culture, deeply affected the way English was spoken and written. English went into a decline, and when it reemerged, it was permanently changed.

The Cambridge Companion To British Romantic Poetry

More than any other period of British literature, Romanticism is strongly identified with a single genre. Romantic poetry has been one of the most enduring, best-loved, most widely read, and most frequently studied genres for two centuries and remains no less so today. This Companion offers a comprehensive overview and interpretation of the poetry of the period in its literary and historical contexts. The essays consider its metrical, formal, and linguistic features its relation to history its influence on other genres its reflections of empire and nationalism, both within and outside the British Isles and the various implications of oral transmission and the rapid expansion of print culture and mass readership. Attention is given to the work of less well-known or recently rediscovered authors, alongside the achievements of some of the greatest poets in the English language Wordsworth, Coleridge, Blake, Scott, Burns, Keats, Shelley, Byron, and Clare.

Linguistic Convention In Poetry

My use of the past tense above implies that archaism, as a regular component of poetic expression, is no longer with us. Indeed, I take it that the ' Spenserian' tradition of poetic expression eventually petered out towards the beginning of this century. Hardy, Yeats, and Bridges are perhaps the last major poets to have had any recourse to it. If the old-fashioned usages outlined above can be said to be part of the present-day English language, this is probably due more to the Authorized Version of the Bible, the Book of Common Prayer, and the Shakespearean canon, than to the outmoded conventions of poetic usage. In justification, if it is accepted as such, we can point to Spenser's achievement of sustaining an exacting verse form through the longest good poem in the English language. In contrast, the poets of the present century have veered far away from Renaissance artifice, preferring to reject these conventional peculiarities of poetic expression together with the rigidity of...

Epitaph On Sp A child of queen Elizabeths Chapel Ben Jonson 1616

Nature, and genius, as he imitates Horace's approach in his Art of Poetry. In so doing, he answers his own query as to the importance of the classics to contemporary writing. Should they act as models, or should writers take inspiration only from natural knowledge, that gained through intuition If one continued to utilize the masters, should it be only as a suggested pattern, or as prescriptive instruction He divides his poem into three sections, each with a different purpose. The first portion suggests a compromise between warring opinions, the second provides analysis of weak criticism, and the third offers praise for the classics. Pope's purpose is not to find a solution, but rather to offer his opinion. He creates some of the great maxims of the English language, including A little Learning is a dang'rous Thing (215), To Err is Humane to Forgive, Divine (525), and Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread (625).

Norman Conquest The 1066

One of the most drastic shifts in English culture was the subversion of the English language. Members of William's court spoke Norman French. Despite the fact that individuals who spoke English were viewed as inferior and commonplace, the majority of the individuals who were not part of the royal court refused to adopt a new language. As a result, a dual linguistic system emerged where many members of the nobility spoke Norman French while the language of the common people remained English. In 1086, a massive survey of the English countryside and its population entitled The Domesday Book was completed at William's insistence. The Domesday Book contained detailed census information about every shire and its tenants in England. This survey helped William to implement in England the continental Norman practice of feudalism. Traditionally defined as a military arrangement made between lords and their vassals (see feudal oaths), feudalism did not exist in Anglo-Saxon England. The military...

Nymph Complaining For The Death Of Her Fawn The Andrew

Additional interpretations include political and religious meaning in the poem. Wanton troopers reflects a new term, trooper, which appeared first in the English language in 1640 in reference to soldiers of the Scottish Covenanting Army that invaded England to support Presbyterianism. The fawn could be seen as the English church doomed to death by civil war, or as England itself when life under a monarchy is destroyed by Cromwell's new order. Charles I himself may be the

E E Cummings and Robinson Jeffers in the 1920s

Was the third poet to receive the coveted Dial award, following Eliot and Moore. While not all critics were favorably disposed toward Cummings' work, the reception of his poetry was generally positive and at times even adulatory. One reviewer argued that his first book, Tulips and Chimneys (1923), contained as beautiful poems as have been written by any present-day poet in the English language, and Cummings' friend Slater Brown made the even more hyperbolic claim that the volume represented the most important work of poetry yet published in America.

Poetry As An Hypersemanticized Version Of Language

In fact, this is perhaps too generous an assessment on the part of the creative writer. However much the analyst may be able to illuminate, whether by linguistic or critical exegesis, there will always remain the inexplicable residue, the marvel of creative achievement. To restore the balance, then, it is fitting that we should close with the view of another artist in words, Dylan Thomas, who above any other writer of modem times, has exhibited a magical power over the English language

Suggestions for Further Reading

Ling. richards, i. a. Principles of Literary Criticism. London, 1925. Lit. Richards, i. a. Practical Criticism. New York, 1929. Lit. ricks, c., Milton's Grand Style. Oxford, 1963. Lit. steinmann, m., ed. New Rhetorics. New York, 1967. tillotson, g. 'Eighteenth Century Poetic Diction', Essays and Studies, 25 General Linguistics and the English Language Works marked 'Advanced' assume a fair knowledge of linguistics. abercrombie, d. 'Syllable Quantity and Enclitics in English' in Studies in and Language Teaching. London, 1964. jespersen, o. Growth and Structure of the English Language. (9th edn.)

She Stoop Figurative Language

While later realistic writers shaped dialogue to reproduce the spoken word perfectly, early dramatists used the poetic meter of iambic pentameter to format dialogue, adopting the every-other-syllable stress that most closely matched the rhythm of speech. Poetry also allowed control over logistical concerns, such as an actor's delivery, as well as concerns of a more artistic nature, such as his portrayal of emotions. At a time when the English language continued to develop and exhibited various spellings of the same words (Shakespeare spelled his name at least three different ways), dramatists experimented in poetry with new words, contriving pleasing phonetic effects at times.

Drayton Michael 15631631 Michael

A popular and revered poet, Drayton was buried in Westminster Abbey. Lady Anne Clifford Herbert, the countess of Dorset, Pembroke, and Montgomery, supplied a monument, and its lines have been attributed to Jonson. His life and works filled an entire chapter in an early edition of The Cambridge History of English Language, but he was soon displaced by the metaphysical poets and poetry, such as that of John Donne. As Har-din explains, Donne's personal, ahistorical poetry replaced for a modern readership the historical poetry for which Drayton gained fame in his own age. Where Drayton desired to raise English verse and the country of England itself to greater fame than any other country's, his belief in England's destiny making him an Elizabethan poet, Donne sought simply to surprise his reader with his control over language. Despite later judgments of Drayton's work as overwritten and ponderous, critics praise his pastorals as excellent representatives of that genre. Little read in...

Johnson Samuel 17091784 Samuel

Johnson at last earned a stable living, making numerous contributions to Edward Cave's journal The Gentleman's Magazine. His famous poem London, an imitation of Juvenal's Third Satire, appeared in 1738, offering commentary on Johnson's favorite themes social degeneracy, the self-importance of the wealthy, and economic abuses against the poor. It was one of a very few superb poems Johnson would publish. He then published biographical commentary on Richard Savage, a friend, who died in 1744, the first of many biographical writings, which would become as famous as his creative work. A series of such biographies later were published in a volume titled The Lives of the Poets, material that would be studied centuries later for its insights not only into human nature, but also into the England of his day. Urged by a publisher named Robert Dodsley to help codify the ever-shifting English language by writing a dictionary, Johnson published his Plan for the dictionary in 1747 and applied for...

Series editors introduction to the Interface series

This range of design and procedure means that a wide variety of audiences is envisaged for the series as a whole, though, of course, individual books are necessarily quite specifically targeted. The general level of exposition presumes quite advanced students of language and literature. Approximately, this level covers students of English language and literature (though not exclusively English) at senior high-school upper sixth-form level to university students in their first or second year of study. Many of the books in the series are designed to be used by students. Some may serve as course books these will normally contain exercises and suggestions for further work as well as glossaries and graded bibliographies which point the student towards further reading. Some books are also designed to be used by teachers for their own reading and updating, and to supplement courses in some cases, specific questions of pedagogic theory, teaching procedure and methodology at the interface of...

The Biographical Fallacy

Two exhibits will demonstrate the violence done to these texts when they are approached as versified autobiography. The first, 'Pusan Liberty', by the neglected Beat writer William Wantling, is one of the finest English-language poems to come out of the Korean conflict, comparable to the best First World War poetry in its perception of contending soldiers as alike victims of their respective political and military masters. The poem offers a clear example of the way in which Beat literature's defining note of alienated authenticity is artistically constructed rather than being the result of the author vomiting personal experience direct upon the page.

Figurative Language In To Lucasta Going To Wars

Lovelace's participation in the Bishops' Wars during 1639 and 1640 inspired his 12-line three-stanza farewell poem. The speaker addresses his love in the first stanza with a plea that she not believe him cruel for leaving her behind. He begins to unfold one of the most logical, beautiful arguments in the English language, setting a dramatic scene

Eliot Hulme And Pound

Hulme and Ezra Pound are three of the most significant figures in the early twentieth-century literary phenomenon we have come to call modernism. They revolutionized Anglo-American poetry, arguing that traditional poetic forms and themes could no longer encapsulate the experience of the modern world. They were pioneers in the use of free verse and in their expansion of the subject matter of poetry. During his short career, T.E. Hulme provided the intellectual impetus for Pound's imagist movement, which Eliot called 'the startingpoint of modern poetry' (1978 58). Eliot's The Waste Land and Pound's The Cantos are renowned as two of the most innovative and influential poems in the English language.

Poetry And Translation Perhaps it

Poets responded to the globalization of the metropolitan West with an unparalleled production of English-language translations, resulting in a wide variety of forms and theories of translation. Important poets who also translated poetry include Elizabeth bishop, Paul blackburn, Cid corman, Lyn hejinian, Richard howard, Langston hughes, Allen mandelbaum, Gary snyder, Rosmarie waldrop, Eliot Weinberger, and Richard wilbur, among others. The present essay will limit its focus to the works of six of the most influential poet translators, Ezra pound, AMY lowell, Kenneth rexroth, Robert bly, Jerome rothenberg, and Louis zukofsky.

Editorial Procedures

We are indebted to our predecessors, the editors emeriti of The Norton Anthology ofPoetry, whose presence on the title page signals their ongoing contribution, and to M. H. Abrams, advisor to the Norton English list, for his wise and ready counsel. We also thank the staff at Norton who helped this book come into being Julia Reidhead used her remarkable resources of energy, intelligence, and good humor to keep the book on course Diane O'Connor guided the book through production Erin Dye gracefully facilitated communications and meetings Nancy Rodwan and Margaret Goren-stein handled the massive task of securing permissions and Eileen Connell capably oversaw the interrelated projects of the Web site and the Course Guide. Our development editor, Kurt Wildermuth, paid attention to (and in many cases perfected) the book's minute particulars in ways that William Blake would have admired. Kurt also kept a steady eye on the book's larger shape and primary goal to bring English-language poems...

Jahan Ramazani

In recent decades much of the most vital writing in English has come from Britain's former colonies in the so-called Third World. For readers of fiction the geographic explosion of Anglophone literature is by now self-evident postcolonial novelists like Chinua Achebe, V. S. Naipaul, Salman Rushdie and Arundhati Roy have clearly redrawn the map of English-language fiction in our time. By comparison, 'contemporary poetry' remains strikingly provincial in the Anglophone West. With the exception of Derek Walcott's work, 'contemporary poetry' is typically limited to the United States, Britain and Ireland, perhaps with some inclusion of former white settler colonies like Canada. Whether favouring poetry that is 'postmodern' or 'postconfes-sional', 'neoformalist' or 'mainstream', 'ethnic' or 'white', most anthologies, critical essays and conferences reassert these boundaries. In recent years American poetry has expanded to include minority writers of African, Asian and Latino descent, and...

Neil Roberts

The subject of this volume, twentieth-century poetry in English, is vast, heterogeneous and paradoxical. To say that it attempts to represent the poetry of a hundred years and more than twenty countries is to suggest only one dimension of the difficulty of the project. The phrase 'in English' is no mere neutral description, but signifies a complex, violent and still bitterly felt political and cultural history some contributors question the division between poetry in English and other languages, and rightly transgress it for others the historical role of the English language in shaping the culture and consciousness of poets is itself the main theme. This subject exists because of the successive historical phenomena of British imperialism and American cultural, economic and political dominance. The volume begins with the transatlantic connection in modernism and ends with contemporary postcolonial poetry. The trajectory of the century of the English language and its poetry is from a...

Robert Crawford

At the start of the 1920s Einstein's visit to England excited not only writers but also the general, newspaper-reading public. 'Einstein the Great', T. S. Eliot called him, with an ironic smirk, surveying the press coverage for a 'London Letter' contributed to the American magazine The Dial in July 1921. Rose Macaulay, writing 'probably the first significant novel in the English language to make direct use of Einstein's theories', presents in her media story Potterism (1920) the newspaper headline 'Light Caught Bending'.1 In Scotland, later in the same decade, Hugh MacDiarmid ended one of his greatest lyric poems, 'Empty Vessel', by writing of a woman's grief for her dead child, 'The licht that bends ower a' thing I Is less ta'en up wi't.'2 So it was that Einstein caught the imagination of American, English, and Scottish writers.


Revival introduced many methods which were germane to Modernism. First, the Revival was a bilingual cultural phenomenon it stressed the limitations of the English language for expressing certain aspects of Irish national character and thus changed literary idiom in order to accommodate these. The poetry was not as brilliantly polyglot as Eliot's, but even the introduction of one other language (and indeed typeface) into Revival texts raised some of the same points as Modernist poetry the limits of the Victorian poetic mode, its questionable theological consolations and more generally the problematic nature of tradition. Moreover, much of the work of the Revival involved translation from an oral tradition - which lacked a standard orthography and standard versions of stories or songs - into English print culture. Whereas eighteenth-century translators attempted to mould these fragments into new unities in English, now the tendency was to leave the fragments as they were found in the...