By Rodney Stenning Edgecombe

While Thomas Hood has lengthy been considered as a minor comedian poet, this book--the first to dedicate itself completely to his verse--provides a close research of 2 'serious' poems ('Hero and Leander' and 'The Plea of the Midsummer Fairies') so one can supply a greater feel of his diversity. such a lot commentators have pointed to the impression of Keats on such events, yet shut exam finds an excellent higher debt to Elizabethan and Metaphysical poets, whose occasionally playful deployment of the vanity struck a chord in his sensibility. whilst, the ebook supplies Hood's comedian genius its due, delivering distinctive money owed of the deftness and panache of his light-hearted oeuvre. One bankruptcy examines his day trip into the mock-heroic mode (Odes and Addresses to nice People), and one other his reliance on that airiest of varieties, the capriccio (Whims and Oddities). The examine concludes with an intensive exam of 'Miss Kilmansegg and Her beneficial Leg,' exhibiting how Hood was once the following in a position to inflect a jeu d'esprit with a superb Juvenalian ardour.

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Extra info for A Self-divided Poet: Form and Texture in the Verse of Thomas Hood

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You and I know, then How all the party colours will begin, To part—the Pittite hues will sadden there, 28 Chapter One Whereas the Foxite shades will all show fair! 11). In a move that anticipates conversational tournure of Browning's verse, Hood "writes in" a stage direction for his interlocutor, converting his address into a dramatic monologue avant la lettre. Compare: No—I will be your friend—and, like a friend, Point out your very worst defect—Nay, never Start at that word! with such lines as "Again the Cousin's whistle!

Accelerating towards ever-receding horizons, and trying to catch his own mind was one way of doing it. It represents the art of ambition in its purest form. 59 One sure route to "unthinkable entities" is the pun, connecting semantically disjunct words as it does for the sake of a surreal (but meaningful) tertium quid. Having imagined the "Great Unknown" as a small person, for example, Hood A Self-Divided Poet: Form and Texture in the Verse of Thomas Hood 21 takes leave of him "on some Scottish Inch" (properly a meadow on a river bank, from the Gaelic "innis," but here the measurement as well).

Collins's beetle that "winds / His small but sullen horn" (464) can at least be heard; the music of "red cows with their winding horns" is purely notional. " Then, gently prodding the piety of his readers, the poet writes a fantasia on the doctrine of metempsychosis. 57) because he thinks "nobly of the soul," Hood allows the spirits of Swift and Martin enter the bodies of swifts and martins. Swift enables him to modulate to Yahoos and Houyhnhnms, and from Houyhnhnms to horses. Seated on these, so to speak, he launches a Parthian barb at Southey and George IV.

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