Leigh Hunt and the Poetry of Fancy
Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, 1994 - 276 sidor
Leigh Hunt has long been stigmatized as Keats's evil genius, a superficial and mannered poet whose influence can be observed in such early poems as I Stood Tip-Toe and Sleep and Poetry. His portrayal as Harold Skimpole in Bleak House has also fostered an impression of triviality and selfishness in the minds of those who do not trouble to read him. Leigh Hunt and the Poetry of Fancy, so far the only book devoted exclusively to his verse, takes issue with these received opinions and argues that, overshadowed by the work of his more gifted contemporaries, Hunt's output has suffered repeatedly from invidious comparisons. Author Rodney Stenning Edgecombe suggests that we need to bring his admittedly minor poetry out of the shadows and, approaching it on its own sunny terms, find a way of enjoying its slightness and delicate charm. With this in mind, Edgecombe urges that we approach the poet as a rococo artist, using this aesthetic category to legitimize and focus the decorative impulse that informs his vision, and the escapism that sometimes led him, as a poet, to skirt many of the issues he so bravely fought for through his Radical journalism.
Like Wordsworth, Hunt divided his output into loose generic categories when he began preparing a select edition of his poetry toward the end of his life, categories retained and amplified by H. S. Milford in his 1923 edition. Edgecombe has used these divisions as a way of organizing his study, and also of illustrating the immense range of forms and genres that the poet explored in the course of a long career. He furthermore offers close readings of many seminal poems in an effort to show that Hunt, dismissed by Carlyle as a sort of poetic "tinker," was a generally creditable craftsperson, and that when the occasion inspired him, he could write very well indeed.
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Sida 210 - Catching your heart up at the feel of June, Sole voice that's heard amidst the lazy noon, When even the bees lag at the summoning brass; And you, warm little housekeeper, who class With those who think the candles come too soon, Loving the fire, and with your tricksome tune Nick the glad silent moments as they pass...
Sida 132 - Nay, but to live In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed, Stew'd in corruption, honeying and making love Over the nasty sty, — Queen.
Sida 17 - The fancy is indeed no other than a mode of memory emancipated from the order of time and space...
Sida 72 - Muse to venture down The dark descent, and up to reascend, Though hard and rare...
Sida 189 - We conquer'd France, but felt our captive's charms; Her arts victorious triumph'd o'er our arms: Britain to soft refinements less a foe, Wit grew polite, and numbers learn'd to flow. Waller was smooth; but Dryden taught to join The varying verse, the full-resounding line, The long majestic march and energy divine.
Sida 143 - that the passion of laughter is nothing else but sudden glory arising from some sudden conception of some eminency in ourselves by comparison with the infirmity of others ; or with our own formerly...
Sida 149 - Muse? Night and all her sickly dews, Her spectres wan, and birds of boding cry, He gives to range the dreary sky ; Till down the eastern cliffs afar Hyperion's march they spy, and glittering shafts of war.
Sida 79 - IN Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree: Where Alph, the sacred river, ran Through caverns measureless to man Down to a sunless sea. So twice five miles of fertile ground With walls and towers were girdled round...
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