Power, Plain English, and the Rise of Modern Poetry
DIVIn this engaging book David Rosen offers a radically new account of Modern poetry and revises our understanding of its relation to Romanticism. British poets from Wordsworth to Auden attempted to present themselves simultaneously as persons of power and as moral voices in their communities. The modern lyric derives its characteristic complexities—psychological, ethical, formal—from the extraordinary difficulty of this effort.
The low register of our language—a register of short, concrete, native words arranged in simple syntax—is deeply implicated in this story. Rosen shows how the peculiar reputation of “plain English” for truthfulness is employed by Modern poets to conceal the rift between their (probably irreconcilable) ambitions for themselves.
With a deep appreciation for poetic accomplishment and a wonderful iconoclasm, Rosen sheds new light on the innovative as well as the self-deceptive aspects of Modern poetry. This book alters our understanding of the history of poetry in the English language./div
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autobiography Beggar begins Cambridge career chapter claims Cold Heaven Coleridge crisis critics culture decade diction diﬀerent early eﬀect eﬀorts Essays experience feelings ﬁction ﬁgure ﬁnal ﬁnally ﬁnd ﬁrst ﬁt Harold Bloom human identity idiom imagination inﬂuence John John Keats Juvenilia XVIa Keats kind language later lines Locke Locke’s low register lyric M. H. Abrams mature Maud Gonne meaning memory metaphor mind modern poetry Modernist myth nature object oﬀ oﬀers one’s Orwell passage perhaps plain English poem poem’s poet poet’s poetic political Prelude prose psychology Randall Jarrell reality recognize reﬂected rhetoric Romantic sense Shelley signiﬁcation signify simple ideas social speaker speciﬁcally stanza style suﬀering suggest T. S. Eliot theory things thought Tintern Abbey tion tradition truth turn University Press verse verse paragraph vision visionary voice W. B. Yeats W. H. Auden Watershed William Wordsworth words Wordsworth Wordsworthian writing Yeats's Yeats’s York