Victorian Poetry Flashcards Preview

Fowler: History of English Literature > Victorian Poetry > Flashcards

Flashcards in Victorian Poetry Deck (24):

Name two poets whose work overlapped the division between the Romantic and Victorian periods

John Clare (1793-1864) and Savage Landor (1775-1864)


Victorian poets can be regarded as returning to their cultural inheritance in order to

draw strength from it to meet new challenges. (E.g. freedom of word order; antiquarian uses of Tudor or medieval words like "puissance," "twain," etc.)


Tennyson's In Memoriam A.H.H. displays his temperamental passivity--his

endurance of helplessness


In Memoriam A.H.H. is both a religious poem and a

poem of doubt (its strength lies in being both)


Victorian retrospection became an explicit programme for the ___-_________ movement in literature and art. This elevated the ______ _____, with their scrupulous detail and "strict adherence to nature" as a model of true creativity.

pre-Raphaelite; Middle Ages


What poet marks the landmark--and quarry--of lyricism (lyricism could go no further.

Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909)


Robert Browning did more than any Victorian poet to

modernize poetry


Browning (1812-89) was to mark a point of departure for the modernist movement. He perpetually

experimented and innovated


Browning is said to have had "a taste for...

"ugly reality" (Walter Bagehot)


Browning invented a type of poem (later popular with the Georgians) which has a simple direct surface meaning, but also contains

digressions or apparently gratuitous elements, tangentially related to the rest.


Antecedents to the Browningesque monologue include Landor's Imaginary Conversations (1824-9) and also

Donne's Satires (Browning was unusual for his time in admiring Donne.


Browning's dramatic monologues had a prodigious influence, and may be suspected in in

the Jamesian novel


By concealing the poet within deliberately ambiguous situations, Browning's poems force

the reader to respond on his own--poetry that made way for Henry James and modernist fiction


Browning's The Ring and the Book (1868) is a verse novel based on a late 17th-c. murder trial. Here monologues are multiplied until no fewer than twelve offset (or undercut) one another. In this work, increased objectivity gained through the cancelled relativities of the various characters comes at the expense of

the empathy that is Browning's greatest strength


Browning's The Ring and the Book (1868) is a verse novel based on a late 17th-c. murder trial. Here monologues are multiplied until no fewer than twelve offset (or undercut) one another. This work has had formal influences on novelists as different as

Virginia Woolf (The Waves) and William Faulkner (The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying)


Who wrote The Angel of the House (1854, 56)

Coventry Patmore (1823-96)


In 1854, 56 Coventry Patmore wrote

The Angel of the House


Dickinson gave the lyric epigram

a compression quite uncharacteristic of the period


Dickinson achieves compression in her lyric epigrams through

extreme ellipsis--incomplete chains of discourse, helped out by a private system of rhetorical punctuation.


Whitmanesque spontaneity and prolixity were to continue in American literature in writers as diverse as

Pound, Kerouac, and Creeley


Romantics and their early Victorian successors distrusted the literary language shaped in the Enlightenment (to rational ends). Instead, they often formulated their trans-rational contents by relying on

expression through multiple attempts--sketches or aggregations of details.


Through the Victorian period the language itself began to alter. It became less concise, less conducive to... (then add a counterpoint)

separation of thought from feeling (though this generated its own new precision of language)


The theory that modernism was a response to a crisis in Victorian literature gets little support from the poetry of

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)


Hardy's poetry has not been widely imitated. One exception is

Philip Larkin