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Presence and Passage: A Poet's Wordsworth

Presence and Passage: A Poet's Wordsworth This essay is based on a plenary talk given at the 2001 annual meeting of the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism. Modern Language Quarterly 63:2, June 2002. © 2002 University of Washington. MLQ ƒ June 2002 cider. Subordinating object to subject, fact to sensibility, too much poetry in English since Wordsworth vouches for its veracity only with a flash of first-person pronoun, that lyric learner’s permit. Having picked some blueberries or seen some birds, the poet has the urge to tell us so. I have visited the outside world, he wants to say; I have spent time (scout’s honor) turning it over in my heart and mind, and now, as a sign of goodwill toward men, I want to share with all of you what really matters: namely, my effusions on it. In the usual NPR and NPM (National Poetry Month) instances, there’s rarely a lick of salt or irony, rarely a riff of arresting rhetoric, a grace note in the grammar, or a feel for philology. What sets such offerings apart as poetry, they seem to claim, is their feel for feelings. It’s enough to make a lover of Swift go back to swiving. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Modern Language Quarterly: A Journal of Literary History Duke University Press

Presence and Passage: A Poet's Wordsworth

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2002 by University of Washington
ISSN
0026-7929
eISSN
1527-1943
DOI
10.1215/00267929-63-2-167
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This essay is based on a plenary talk given at the 2001 annual meeting of the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism. Modern Language Quarterly 63:2, June 2002. © 2002 University of Washington. MLQ ƒ June 2002 cider. Subordinating object to subject, fact to sensibility, too much poetry in English since Wordsworth vouches for its veracity only with a flash of first-person pronoun, that lyric learner’s permit. Having picked some blueberries or seen some birds, the poet has the urge to tell us so. I have visited the outside world, he wants to say; I have spent time (scout’s honor) turning it over in my heart and mind, and now, as a sign of goodwill toward men, I want to share with all of you what really matters: namely, my effusions on it. In the usual NPR and NPM (National Poetry Month) instances, there’s rarely a lick of salt or irony, rarely a riff of arresting rhetoric, a grace note in the grammar, or a feel for philology. What sets such offerings apart as poetry, they seem to claim, is their feel for feelings. It’s enough to make a lover of Swift go back to swiving.

Journal

Modern Language Quarterly: A Journal of Literary HistoryDuke University Press

Published: Jun 1, 2002

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