Victorian Poetry

Journal publishing scholary articles on topics related to Victorian poetry and poets.

Articles from Vol. 41, No. 4, Winter

A Bounded Field: Situating Victorian Poetry in the Literary Landscape
thy province [is] not large, A bounded field, nor stretching far. --Tennyson, In Memoriam XLVI The greatest development in the field of Victorian poetry studies over the past fifteen years has been the renewal of interest in women poets, both those...
A Note upon the "Liquid Crystal Screen" and Victorian Poetry
In an attempt to discuss the implications that advanced computer technology will have on future research on Victorian Poetry, it might be worthwhile re-visiting Freud's 1925 essay "A Note Upon the 'Mystic Writing-Pad.'" (1) In this influential piece,...
"A Use in Measured Language": Poetry and Poetic Criticism after September 11
At the 2001 Victorians Institute conference, which took place just weeks after the September 11 attacks, Margaret Homans had rewritten her keynote address to leave plenty of open space. Instead of speaking about Queen Victoria, whose centenary prompted...
Budgets and Brownings: The Function of Poetry at the Present Time
There is a crisis in poetry. There is a crisis in Victorian poetry. At least according to much that has been said of late about the future of verse. PMLA recently sought submissions for a special issue on poetry, asking, "has the time come to revisit...
Canonicity, Marginality, and the Celebration of the Minor
Victorian poetry as a field tends to be among those subdisciplines least affected by theoretical and historical developments in literary study. In the eighties and early nineties, our field was certainly changed by demands to "open up" the canon. (1)...
Conjuring the Spirit: Victorian Poetry, Culture, and Technology
The ubiquity of fiction by the late nineteenth century suggests the decline of poetry from its central cultural status as a public discourse and masculine preserve of "a man speaking to men." (1) A standard explanation for the decrease in verse publication...
Consigned to Sepia: Remembering Victorian Poetry
The major critical and theoretical movements of the twentieth century have been virtually silent about Victorian poetry. As the stranded remnants of high bourgeois liberalism, the poets have been consigned to sepia. --Isobel Armstrong, Victorian...
Doing Things with Poems: Performativity and Cultural Form
As one who works on women's poetry (in my case, Felicia Hemans and Letitia Landon), my critical approach entails reflection on the period's constitution as a field of study. Hence a critical skepticism of the terms Romantic and Victorian. Whither Victorian...
From Ancient to Victorian Cultural Studies: Assessing Foucault
In 1999 the journal Victorian Literature and Culture devoted a special issue to the subject of "Victorian Studies and Cultural Studies." What is notable about the essays included in this volume is the collective level of skepticism they express about...
In the Valley of the Shadow of Books
Matthew Arnold suggested part of our challenge when he announced in his general introduction to The English Poets (1880) that "the future of poetry is immense." (1) Arnold intended to bestow on poetry a metaphysical immensity, one defined by taking...
Introduction
where shall we know ... Sign-marks to guide us on the way we go?--Augusta Webster, "To-Day" Whirr--whirr--gone! And still we hurry on.--William Allingham, "Express" In December 1999 I proposed this special issue to Hayden Ward during a Victorian...
Novel Poetry: Transgressing the Law of Genre
The future calls for perverse crossings: between genres, between periods, between theories. Although critics have responded to the demand for interdisciplinary and cultural studies for many years now, there are a few boundaries that have, nonetheless,...
On Cultural Neoformalism, Spasmodic Poetry, and the Victorian Ballad
Whither the study of Victorian poetry? I'll put my money on the "long odds" of what Herbert Tucker calls "a neoformalism that ... Cultural Studies could yet put to use." (1) There are and have always been many more practices of formal analysis than...
Post-Romantic Ideologies and Victorian Poetic Practice, or, the Future of Criticism at the Present Time
By most accounts, professional academic scholarship in English grew out of Victorian literary ideology, especially out of what Gerald Graft lightly calls "cultural tradition in the Matthew Arnold sense." (1) Historically, such accounts have tended...
Productive Convergences, Producing Converts
Once, a well-respected professor of English, when told that I was doing some work on Robert Browning, replied, "I've always found Browning just so hokey, in that Victorian way." Unfortunately, in recent decades such dismissive attitudes toward Victorian...
Reading/writing the Forgotten: The Poetry of Mary Boddington
For if it is rash to walk into a lion's den unarmed, rash to navigate the Atlantic in a rowing boat, rash to stand on one foot on the top of St Paul's, it is still more rash to go home alone with a poet. ---Virginia Woolf, Orlando I first encountered...
Re-Reading Women's Poetry at the Turn of the Century
Recent critical studies undertaken by Talia Schaffer, Kathy Psomiades, and Yopie Prins have highlighted the diverse and experimental nature of women's writing at the fin de siecle. As well as encouraging a re-thinking of the canon of British aestheticism,...
The Ecology of Victorian Poetry
In his recent books The Aesthetics of Environment and Living in the Landscape the philosopher Arnold Berleant has argued that the arts--and the aesthetic more generally--have an important role to play in generating an "environmental" consciousness...
The Two Voices
I am writing this on 9/11/02, an odd time to be speculating on "Whither Victorian poetry?" or, for that matter, whither anything. But to the extent that academic discussions of Victorian poetry, or any poetry, or any art at all, simultaneously can...
Victorian Paperwork
It seems a melancholy certitude now--in the year 2003, several years beyond a century since they could have been born--that the last Victorians have passed from this world. Indeed, scholars of my vintage will necessarily belong to the final generation...
Victorian Poetry as Victorian Studies
It has become almost customary to begin discussions of Victorian poetry with a lament. Whether the occasion is formal or simply that of everyday conversation among colleagues, we tend to bemoan the low profile of the field, the misunderstandings and...
Victorian Poetry's Modernity
The title of this special issue, "Whither Victorian Poetry?" poses a somewhat paradoxical question. To ask of an object "whither" is to imply the possibility of change, yet the object specified is defined by its temporal closure and completion. How...
What Kind of a Critical Category Is "Women's Poetry"?
When Ana Parejo Vadillo and I decided to organize the 2002 conference "Women's Poetry and the Fin-de-siecle," several of my colleagues asked whether this focus on women's writing was not rather old-fashioned now. For many in Britain "women's writing"...
Whither, Whether, Woolf: Victorian Poetry and A Room of One's Own
This is not, of course, the first time the question "Whither Victorian Poetry?" has been posed. In its lovely, archaic locution, it hearkens back to the Victorian poets themselves, and surely they had the keenest sense of how confusing they might be...
Why Clough? Why Now?
If you have been attending recent Victorianist conferences, you may be asking, "Why so much interest in Clough?" Almost every conference seems to have at least one paper on Arthur Hugh Clough. This is all the more striking since conference presentations...
Women Poets and the Sister Arts in Nineteenth-Century England
Classical antiquity gave us the notion of the arts as sisters, and Renaissance Italy the drama of their sibling rivalry. (1) In the "republic of taste" of eighteenth-century Britain, poetry, painting, and sculpture were companionable sisters, so long...