A Linguistic Guide to English Poetry (English Language by Geoffrey N. Leech

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By Geoffrey N. Leech

Seeks to illustrate that the examine of English poetry is enriched via the insights of contemporary linguistic research, and that linguistic and demanding disciplines should not separate yet complementary. analyzing quite a lot of poetry, Professor Leech considers many facets of poetic sort, together with the language of prior and current, artistic language, poetic licence, repetition, sound, metre, context and ambiguity.

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53 William Empson in 1930 noticed Shelley "discovering his idea in the act of writing, or not holding it all in his mind at once, so that, for instance, there is a simile which applies to nothing exactly, but lies half-way between two things, when the author is moving from one to the other". 54 Yvor Winters (1947) thought the "Ode to the West Wind" a good example of poetry which expresses a feeling not "in terms of its motive, but in terms of something irrelevant or largely so, commonly landscape".

As Donald Davie put it, a Shelley poem often "has 44 Shelley's Poetry: The Divided Self no meaning except as a whole. It is one half of a vast metaphor with the human term left out; and this, its meaning for h u m a n life, emerges from the shape of the whole or else it is lost for ever". 111 To those who want "meaning" to inhere in local or textural qualities of thought as well as overall shape, of course, the Cronins and Davies have less to say, but they do cause the essential disagreements to stand out clearly, which is no mean achievement.

S. Eliot. It has been put chiefly in two periods, roughly 1819-40 and 1919-40, but it has been a minority critical case; most writers on Shelley since his lifetime have been admirers (this does not mean, of course, that most readers of literature in English have: they probably have not, which may partly account for his admirers' defensiveness). Philosophically and personally this minority case at its strongest is generally unprejudiced, resting on a view of poetry and of the self rather than on any dislike of Shelley's beliefs or behaviour - although it is true that the critics we have noticed do regard Shelley as having exposed himself to such prejudices by writing the kind of poetry he did.

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