By Paula R. Feldman, Daniel Robinson
A Century of Sonnets is a extraordinary reminder that the very best recognized and so much well-respected poems of the Romantic period have been sonnets. It offers the huge and wealthy context of such favorites as Percy Bysshe Shelley's ''Ozymanidas,'' John Keats's ''On First taking a look Into Chapman's Homer,'' and William Wordsworth's ''Composed Upon Westminster Bridge'' through tracing the sonnet revival in England from its starting within the fingers of Thomas Edwards and Charlotte Smith to its end result within the poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Expertly edited by means of Paula R. Feldman and Daniel Robinson, this quantity is the 1st nowa days to gather the sonnets of the Romantic period--many by no means prior to released within the 20th century--and comprises approximately examples composed among 1750 and 1850 by way of eighty one poets, approximately half them ladies. A Century of Sonnets contains of their entirety such vital yet tough to discover sonnet sequences as William Wordsworth's The River Duddon, Mary Robinson's Sappho and Phaon, and Robert Southey's Poems at the Slave Trade, besides Browning's enduring vintage, Sonnets from the Portuguese. The poems gathered right here show the total sweep of human emotion and discover a variety of issues, together with love, grief, politics, friendship, nature, artwork, and the enigmatic personality of poetry itself. certainly, for lots of poets the sonnet shape elicited their most powerful paintings. A Century of Sonnets indicates us that faraway from disappearing with Shakespeare and the English Renaissance, the sonnet underwent a outstanding rebirth within the Romantic interval, giving us a wealthy physique of labor that keeps to steer poets even at the present time.
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Extra info for A Century of Sonnets: The Romantic-Era Revival 1750-1850
Poetical Works, ed. Herbert Davis (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978), p. 76, lines 418-9. 5. Samuel Johnson. A Dictionary of the English Language (London: W. Strahan, 1755). 6. James Boswell. Life of Johnson, ed. George Birkbeck Hill, Vol. 4 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1971), p. 305. 7. Nathan Drake. Literary Hours: Or Sketches Critical, Narrative, and Poetical, Vol. , 3rd. ed. (London: T. Cadell, 1804), p. 108. 8. John Fuller. The Sonnet (London: Methuen, 1972), p. 9. 9. R. D. Havens. The Influence of Milton on English Poetry, 1922 (New York: Russell & Russell, 1961), p.
25 In "Nuns Fret Not at Their Convent's Narrow Room," Wordsworth asserts that he can move about freely within the confines of the sonnet: INTRODUCTION 17 In sundry moods, 'twas pastime to be bound Within the Sonnet's scanty plot of ground: Pleased if some souls (for such there needs must be) Who have felt the weight of too much liberty, Should find short solace there, as I have found. It is precisely in this narrow room where Wordsworth distinguishes himself from his immediate predecessors. In "Scorn not the Sonnet," published after The River Duddon in 1827, Wordsworth does not defend the sonnet so much as he includes himself among the distinguished writers whose names he so blatantly drops, beginning with Shakespeare, Petrarch, Tasso, Camoens, Dante, Spenser, Milton, and, implicitly, ending with himself.
To thy sequestered vale I come to hide my sorrow and my tears, And to thy echoes tell the mournful tale Which scarce I trust to pitying Friendship's ears! Amidst thy wild-woods, and untrodden glades, No sounds but those of melancholy move; And the low winds that die among thy shades, Seem like soft Pity's sighs for hopeless love! And sure some story of despair and pain, In yon deep copse thy murmuring doves relate; And, hark, methinks in that long plaintive strain, Thine own sweet songstress weeps my wayward fate!