Hopkins Quarterly, 38.1-2, published by agreement of the editors in conjunction with Victorian Poetry, 49, no.2, as sharing the common theme, "Prosody." Joshua King Baylor University "I believe that I am now, for the first time, stating" the "great general law" of meter, Coventry Patmore proclaims in his influential "Essay on English Metrical Law," first published in 1857.1 "My Dear Mr. Patmore," Gerard Manley Hopkins writes in 1887, "I believe that I can now set metre and music both of them on a scientific footing which will be final like the law of gravitation."2 Patmore and Hopkins adopt the excited tone that a writer today would use after fully unraveling the human genome. In the three decades between Patmore's "Essay" and Hopkins's letter, many Victorians joined in the hunt for the English metrical law: books and articles published on meter twice doubled in number, first in the 1860s, then again in the 1880s.3 Called the "New Prosody" by later scholars and early contributors,4 this take-off in prosody criticism was characterized by a search after the "primary laws of metrical expression" ("Essay," 6). Yet in their search, Hopkins and Patmore confronted the paradox that Yopie Prins has shown other
Victorian Poetry – West Virginia University Press
Published: Jun 9, 2011
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