Literary Criticism

Active Romanticism: The Radical Impulse in

Literary background ordinarily locates the first flow towards poetic innovation in twentieth-century modernism, an impulse conducted opposed to a supposedly enervated “late-Romantic” poetry of the 19th century. the unique essays in energetic Romanticism problem this interpretation via tracing the elemental continuities among Romanticism’s poetic and political radicalism and the experimental hobbies in poetry from the late-nineteenth-century to the current day.

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Extra resources for Active Romanticism: The Radical Impulse in Nineteenth-Century and Contemporary Poetic Practice (Modern & Contemporary Poetics)

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The first footnote of Loves of the Plants is devoted to Linnaeus, who has “demonstrated that all flowers contain families of males or females, or both; and on their marriages has constructed his invaluable sys­tem of Botany” (2). This profuse and asymmetrical classification sys­tem plays out vividly in the micronarratives that unfold within the poem itself. For example: Fair CHUNDA smiles amid the burning waste, Her brow unturban’d, and her zone unbrac’d; Ten brother-­youths with light umbrella’s shade, Or fan with busy hands the panting maid; Loose wave her locks, disclosing, as they break, The rising bosom and averted cheek; Clasp’d round her ivory neck with studs of gold Flows her thin vest in many a silky fold; O’er her light limbs the dim transparence plays, And the fair form, it seems to hide, betrays.

Many males and many females live together in the same flower. It may seem a solecism in language, to call a flower, which contains many of both sexes an individual; and the more so to call a tree or shrub an individual, which consists of so many flowers.  .  . ” Night puts a lyre to his ear and bids “his Nightingales repeat the strain” (165), undoing the end of the canto with the promise of repetition, of unending song.  . Arkwright’s Cotton-­mills Botanic Garden, Meteoric Flowers, and Leaves of Grass 25 Invention of letters, fig­ures & crotchets Mrs.

This Nest, Swift Passerine is perhaps my most radical experiment in such Romantic hopes. One poem might suffice to show the nature of the experiment, though no single method typifies the work. deep within I turned from reading the day outside the page a sort of rainbow seemed to obscure it through which the birds flitted with a sort of sleepy heaviness their bright bodies interwoven with it some ashy light in my eyes forced me to put down my book and my ambitions therein my eyes both night and day and my comfort if comfort it was 42 Dan Beachy-Quick I saw in the pages that closing narrowed the whole day into a minute quantity of light as if through a crack and I had no way to speak of it and then it was done (21) The italicized lines are taken from Milton’s letter describing the onset of his blind­ness, a letter quoted in its entirety earlier in the poem.

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