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'I made it out of a mouthful of air,'Yeats asserts in an alliterative compacting of poetry's newness and capacity to last. 'He Thinks of Those Who Have Spoken Evil of His Beloved', the poem from which the line comes, finds that a song made of air will 'weigh' more than 'the great and their pride' (4), a phrase that loses air like a deflated balloon when repeated. For the youthful Yeats, Prometheus Unbound was 'among the sacred books of the world', and his poetic breathings are sustained by his...

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In the uses made by contemporary Northern Irish poets of the Romantic inheritance, Romanticism's own splits and divisions are multiplied and refracted. A tension at the heart of Romanticism concerns the role of imaginative 'colouring', to borrow Wordsworth's word, already quoted. The idea of a 'plain sense of things', in Wallace Stevens's phrase, is, ultimately, a notion impossible to divorce from a Romantic context. In 'The Plain Sense of Things', Stevens offers a post-Romantic elegy for High...

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In 'The Monument' Bishop also rewrites for a later age the drama of artistic creation enacted in Coleridge's 'Kubla Khan'. At one stage in Bishop's poem, an imagined sceptical voice asks, commenting on the ramshackle monument 'Why did you bring me here to see it A temple of crates in cramped and crated scenery, 3s Christina Britzolakis, Syvia Plath and the Theatre of Mourning (Oxford Clarendon Press, 1999), p. 155. 37 Sylvia Plath, Ariel (1965 London Faber, 1968). 3 Britzolakis, Sylvia Plath...

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Writing about his translation of Beowulf, Seamus Heaney focuses, in particular, on what he calls 'the liminal situation of the literary translator, the one standing at the frontier of a resonant original, in awe of its primacy, utterly persuaded, and yet called upon to utter a different yet equally persuasive version of it in his 3 Quoted from Derek Mahon, Selected Poems (1990 London Penguin in association with Oxford University Press, 1993). or her own words'.3i In Heaney's own relationship...

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Eliot seems less questioning than assured in his dismissal of Romanticism. An amusing example occurs in a 1918 review when he writes, 'Because we have never learned to criticize Keats, Shelley, and Wordsworth (poets of assured though modest merit), Keats, Shelley and Wordsworth punish us from their graves with the annual scourge of the Georgian Anthology.'1 Yet Eliot's anti-Romanticism masks a powerful affinity with Romantic poetry his overt hostility to Romanticism connects...

The Death of Satan Stevenss Esthtique du Mal Evil and the Romantic Imagination

Wallace Stevens is too fine and strange a poet to be put to the work of serving simply as one of the great critics (in his verse) of High Romantic poetry. Yet, if one accepts George Steiner's dicta that 'All serious art, music and literature is a critical act' and that 'The best readings of art are art', it seems right to explore Stevens's deep if oblique response to the achievement and dilemmas bequeathed by the Romantics.1 My main text here is his poem 'Esth tique du Mal', first published in...

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Yet, 'Oh little voices' is ghosted by the hope that living and dying will crisscross, that dialectic ways will resolve into union, as, darkly and fearfully, they will do when Eliot returns to the same Shelleyan passage in The Cocktail Party, Act 3. There, the conversational idiom is interrupted by Reilly's request, in talking about Celia Coplestone's death, to 'quote poetry' he speaks the lines from Prometheus Unbound to convey a 'sudden intuition', on first meeting Celia, of 'the image' of her...

We Are The Last Romantic- Chose For Theme Traditional Sancity And Loveliness

If Yeats seeks a 'marriage with reality, he thrives on conflict and dispute, on the possibility of divorce between mind and externality, as, for him, did at 39 Yeats, A Vision, p. 231. See Bloom, Yeats, pp. 463-4. 40 Ibid., p. 465. least one of his Romantic avatars William Blake. Canny as ever, Yeats seeks to guide us to the heart of the matter when in A Vision he writes in a passage broken in upon by a diagram illustrating the 'Primary' and 'Antithetical' movements of the gyres I had never...

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I did a little edition of selected poems of Byron,' Paul Muldoon remarked in a 1994 interview. Responding to his interviewer's praise for the rhyme of Bucephalus syphilis (wittily included in the section whose sur-title is ' Nietzsche '), he also said 'I'm a great fan of Byron, and I really like these totally crazy rhymes.' The interview is a medium in which the contemporary poet is able to act as surreptitious (or ostentatious) critic or champion of his own work, and...

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But there is another story to be told about Romanticism and Irish poetry apart from a narrative centred on Yeats. In his late sonnets, Patrick Kavanagh produces a maverick post-Romantic poetry that discovers the beauty of the quotidian, hybridizes the comic and the pastoral, and imbues its workings with a dashingly reckless confessional brio. 'It took me many years to learn or relearn not to care. The heart of a song singing it, or a poem writing it is not caring' Patrick Kavanagh's commitment...

Acknowledgements

The author has tried, in quoting copyright material, to abide by the conventions governing 'fair dealing'. A number of chapters, or parts of them, have appeared in different forms in the following publications, to whose editors I am indebted Chapter 1 in Romantic Voices, Romantic Poetics Selected Papers from the Regensburg Conference of the German Society for English Romanticism, ed. Christoph Bode and Katharina Rennhak (Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2005) and in The Monstrous Debt, ed....

Introduction Original Response

Many of the finest poets writing after 1900 engage in strenuous tussle as they respond to Romantic poetry. The wish to be absolutely modern coexists with an intricate view of the meaning and value of tradition. The desire to escape mere self-expression cannot stifle the sense of the poem as a place where modes of self-revelation occur. If a poem serves only the autotelic circle of itself, it is also a way of happening. The political aspirations and doubts of the Romantics can seem inseparable...

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Yet that elegiac undercurrent implies that Muldoon is not simply or complacently happy to retreat into textuality. The knowingly derided 'desire to go beyond ourselves' is both the core of this decentred poem and the aura that haunts it. This desire has something in common with Romantic dreams of transcendence it speaks, less flatteringly, of the will to extend territorial ownership or to plunder the land of others, a strong motif throughout the poem and it expresses, metapoetically, the poet's...

The Apotheosis Of Tins By Mahon

In his study of American Modernist poetry, as noted in the Introduction to the present book, Albert Gelpi argues for a 'subtler continuity between Romanticism and Modernism beneath the avowed discontinuity'. Continuity does not preclude difference 'For the Romantics', Gelpi writes, 'absolute experience predicated aesthetic failure, but the Modernists could postulate the absolute only as an ultimate gauge of technical achievement. 9 Gelpi's terms help to clarify the inheritance and choices...

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'Auden told me that I should drop the Shelley stunt. The poet is far more like Mr. Everyman than like Kelley and Sheats. '1 Spender's recollection makes it clear that Auden had little time for Romantic posturing. Auden's stated dislike of Shelley, in particular, was strong. Reviewing Herbert Read's In Defence of Shelley, he comments, 'Reading him, I feel that he never looked at or listened to anything, except ideas.' Like Eliot, Auden sought in poetry 'the objectively presented'.2 At best,...