Victorian Poetry

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

Articles from Vol. 42, No. 4, Winter

Alexander Smith and the Bisexual Poetics of a Life-Drama
In a sense, the binary restriction on culture postures as the precultural bisexuality that sunders into heterosexual familiarity through its advent into "culture." From the start, however, the binary restriction on sexuality shows clearly that culture...
Editorial Introduction: Spasmodic Poetry and Poetics
"Eureka! Eureka! The coming man has arrived, and his name is Smith!" ACCORDING TO THE AMERICAN JOURNAL PUTNAM'S MONTHLY MAGAZINE, "about the first of May" in the year 1853, "all the English papers came hurrying over the sea with a loud chorus of...
Glandular Omnism and Beyond: The Victorian Spasmodic Epic
DESPITE THE DISREGARD IN WHICH IT HAS DWELT FOR A CENTURY AND A HALF, the Victorian movement called spasmodism matters to literary history because of the maximal registration it gave to the atmosphere that conditioned anglophone poetry circa 1850....
Rhythmic Intimacy, Spasmodic Epistemology
AMONG THE MANY REASONS CRITICS IN THE 1850s CONDEMNED WHAT WAS called the Spasmodic style, none appears to have perplexed and frustrated readers so much as the poets' seemingly irregular use of rhythm. In response to Sydney Dobell's 1856 volume England...
Rhythmic Numinousness: Sydney Dobell and "The Church"
Wanted a tutor to the rising age; he must be a creedless Christian full of faith, but full of charity--wise in head and large in heart--poet and a priest an "eternal child," as well as a thoroughly furnished man. (1) WHEN GEORGE GILFILLAN...
"Spasm" and Class: W. E. Aytoun, George Gilfillan, Sydney Dobell, and Alexander Smith
THE BRIEF FLORUIT OF THE "SPASMODIC" POETS FOLLOWED CLOSELY ONE OF I nineteenth-century British radicalisms most signal defeats--the ejection of the 1848 People's Charter. Spasmodic poems also "consistently [took] as their subject a young poet's struggle...
Spasmodic Affections: Poetry, Pathology, and the Spasmodic Hero
IN 1787, MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT WROTE TO HER SISTER EVERINA: Don't smile when I tell you that I am tormented with spasms.... I know they all arise from disordered nerves, that are injured beyond a possibility of receiving any aid from medicine--There...
Spasmodic Poetics and Clough's Apostasies
RICHARD CRONIN COMPLETES A RECENT TALLY OF THE INFAMOUS SPASMODIC poets with the unusual addition of Arthur Hugh Clough, a darling of Rugby and Oxford and a bosom-friend of the fervently anti-Spasmodic Matthew Arnold. (1) Surely Cronin means to be...
Victorian Culture Wars: Alexander Smith, Arthur Hugh Clough, and Matthew Arnold in 1853
EVEN AS MATTHEW ARNOLD WAS PUBLISHING HIS FIRST TWO VOLUMES of poetry (anonymously, in 1849 and 1852), he appears to have been fighting what we might well perceive, early in the twenty-first century, as a culture war. Arnold's famous "Preface" to his...
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