Romanticism and the Self-Conscious Poem

Hardcover | September 1, 1997

byMichael ONeill

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In this wide-ranging study Michael O'Neill examines the phenomenon of the `self-conscious poem' - that is, a poem concerned with poetry or, more centrally if often connectedly, a poem that displays awareness of itself as a poem - in the work of the major Romantic poets: Blake, Wordsworth,Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats. The book freshly illuminates many famous lyrics and longer poems and revalues less regarded works such as The Excursion. For O'Neill, self-consciousness is allied to the new status granted to poetry by the Romantics. His closely attentive readings suggest that self-consciousness in Romantic poetry often accompanies exploration of, even anxiety about, poetry's significance. Yet his emphasis falls on the imaginativelyproductive ends to which such exploration and anxiety are put. An extended coda looks at the bequest of Romantic self-consciousness to post-Romantic writers; it offers chapters comparing Yeats and Stevens, discussing later Auden's scepticism about poetry, and exploring the affecting intricacies ofAmy Clampitt's `Voyages: A Homage to John Keats'. Throughout, O'Neill challenges recent accounts of Romanticism by placing at the centre of his study poetry's imaginative and aesthetic value.

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In this wide-ranging study Michael O'Neill examines the phenomenon of the `self-conscious poem' - that is, a poem concerned with poetry or, more centrally if often connectedly, a poem that displays awareness of itself as a poem - in the work of the major Romantic poets: Blake, Wordsworth,Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats. The book f...

Michael O'Neill is at University of Durham.

other books by Michael ONeill

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.98 inPublished:September 1, 1997Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198122853

ISBN - 13:9780198122852

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgementsNote on Texts and AbbreviationsIntroductionPART I. The First Generation1. And I staind the water clear: Blake2. The words he uttered . . .: Wordsworth3. That done in air: ColeridgePART 2. The Second Generation4. A being more intense: Byron5. The mind which feeds this verse: Shelley (1)6. The sensitive plant: Evaluation and the Self-Conscious Poem: Shelley (2)7. The reading of an ever-changing tale: Keats (1)8. Writing and History in Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion: Keats (2)CODA. The Post-Romantic Self-Conscious Poem9. Yeats and Stevens: Two Versions of Post-Romantic Self-Consciousness10. Making and Faking: W. H. Auden11. The knowledge of contrast, feeling for light and shade: Amy Clampitt's Voyages: A Homage to John KeatsBiobliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

`Romanticism and the Self-Conscious Poem displays a refreshing desire to reassert the value of poetry, a desire to read poetry lovingly as poetry and not simply as another form of discourse caught in the ideological webs. O'Neill broadens the sense of poetry's alertness to itself and toexperience. His trust in poetry is affecting, and he communicates that trust feelingly. Embracing poetry rather than debunking it, O'Neill sloughs off the illusion of disillusion and attempts simply to read, to read clearly, and to say what he has read.'Thomas Pfau, Review 21, 1999