The Poet's Poet

Essays on the Character and Mission of the Poet As Interpreted in English Verse of the Last One Hundred and Fifty Years

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Published: 1922
Language: English
Wordcount: 87,359 / 272 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 66.9
LoC Category: PN
Downloads: 1,699
Added to site: 2009.12.27
mnybks.net#: 26124
Origin: gutenberg.org
Genre: Essays
Excerpt

essing that we possess no romantic traditions of Homer, to get in the way of our passing impartial judgment upon his works. Our intimate knowledge of nineteenth century poets has been of doubtful benefit to us. Wordsworth has shaken into what promises to be his permanent place among the English poets much more expeditiously than has Byron. Is this not because in Wordsworth's case the reader is not conscious of a magnetic personality drawing his judgment away from purely aesthetic standards? Again, consider the case of Keats. For us the facts of his life must color almost every line he wrote. How are we to determine whether his sonnet, When I Have Fears, is great poetry or not, so long as it fills our minds insistently with the pity of his love for Fanny Brawne, and his epitaph in the Roman graveyard?

Christopher North has been much upbraided by a hero-worshiping generation, but one may go too far in condemning the Scotch sense in his contention:

Mr. Keats we have often heard spoken of i

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