Shelley's Later Poetry: A Study of His Prophetic Imagination

Shelley's Later Poetry: A Study of His Prophetic Imagination

Shelley's Later Poetry: A Study of His Prophetic Imagination

Shelley's Later Poetry: A Study of His Prophetic Imagination

Excerpt

Using Prometheus Unbound as its organizing center, this book describes the materials and traces the unfinished argument of Shelley's poetry in his Italian period. But more is attempted than simply an exposition of meaning. The form of Shelley's argument and the nature of his figures of speech imply a theory of poetry and reveal the way his imagination worked. The book as a whole demonstrates the importance of that theory and tries to justify the activity of a prophetic imagination.

I have received and often taken a good deal of advice in the course of writing these pages. The editorial and critical acumen of Miss Vergene F. Leverenz of the Columbia University Press has saved me many errors and suggested many improvements. I am grateful to Professors Emery Neff and Jerome H. Buckley of Columbia University for their encouragement and criticism at many stages in the book's development, and to my colleague, Dr. George Falle, for reading the whole manuscript and drawing attention to some of my infelicities. But my chief debt is to Dr. A. E. Barker, not only for the detailed commentary with which he surrounded the margins of my pages, but for the benefit of his example as scholar and teacher.

Permission was graciously granted by Harcourt, Brace and Company and by Faber and Faber, Ltd, to quote passages from T. S. Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral, The Waste Land, Four Quartets, and Selected Essays, 1917-1932. I am also indebted for similar permissions to the Viking Press to quote from Volume Four of Poets of the English Language, edited byW. H. Auden andN. H. Pearson ; to Rupert Hart-Davis Limited to quote R. S. Thomas . . .

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