The English Poetic Mind

The English Poetic Mind

The English Poetic Mind

The English Poetic Mind

Excerpt

The following essays are based on two convictions: (1) that Troilus and Cressida is of a great deal more importance in a study of Shakespeare than has generally been allowed, (2) that the central crisis of Troilus is in direct poetic relation to the culminating crisis in Wordsworth's account of his own history in the Prelude. From these convictions I went on to consider whether that crisis had any parallels in the work of the other English poets, and whether it might, not unreasonably, be related to the Satan of Milton, compared with the Nightingale of Keats, and contrasted with the Lancelot of Tennyson. Upon this subject it would have been possible to write a book either of five hundred or of two hundred pages; I chose two hundred with equal reluctance and decision.

I have called it the English Poetic Mind rather than the English Poetic Genius, because the word genius, in that context, might be supposed to have reference rather to 'English' than to 'Poetic'; to allude to the feelings which (as Sir Arthur Quiller Couch has suggested) should be aroused in us when we stand by the tomb of the Black Prince in Canterbury Cathedral rather than to those which are aroused by the reading of Henry V. With the patriotism of Shakespeare and Milton and the rest I have nothing to do; only with their poetry. But to omit the geographical limitation altogether would have been too bold; the present title sounds more like the tentative suggestion which the book is meant to offer.

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.