LEE O'BRIEN Like some strange second flowering after date, it renews on a more deli cate type the poetry of a past age, but must not be confounded with it. --Walter Pater, "Aesthetic Poetry" And then he took his lute, that second heart Which seemed to share his pulses and be part Of the pent heart within him and expound In living rhythms and sweet articulate sound Its mute dim longings and to himself reveal Some secret of himself he could not feel Until the music spoke it . . . --Augusta Webster, Yu-Pe-Ya's Lute ugusta Webster's narrative poem Yu-Pe-Ya's Lute, "A Chinese Tale in En glish Verse," was published in 1874. It is a beautiful poem, a love poem, but also a curious artifact that raises a number of questions that this essay attempts to answer. Why did such a fine poet expend so much energy on a subject she comes to secondhand, her labors constrained by narrative ele ments originating outside the Western tradition, ones that she had no hand in inventing and over which, therefore, she can ostensibly exercise no creative control? How might a reader construct a sense of the poem's significance within nineteenthcentury
Victorian Poetry – West Virginia University Press
Published: Jun 27, 2017
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