By Richard Bradford
This introductory e-book takes the reader via literary historical past from the Renaissance to Postmodernism, and considers person texts as paradigms that may either replicate and unsettle their broader linguistic and cultural contexts. Richard Bradford offers distinctive readings of person texts which emphasize their relation to literary background and broader socio-cultural contexts, and which take note of advancements in structuralism and postmodernism. Texts contain poems by means of Donne, Herbert, Marvell, Milton, Pope, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Blake, Keats, Hopkins, Browning, Pound, Eliot, Carlos Williams, Auden, Larkin and Geoffrey Hill.
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Additional info for A Linguistic History of English Poetry (Interface)
Since the sixteenth century poets have either imitated, transformed or selfconsciously rejected the formal precedents set by their forebears. For example, Milton’s Paradise Lost maintains many of the conventions set in the use of blank verse by dramatists but also effectively alters the accepted convention that blank verse should be used only in dramatic rather than non-dramatic poems. To appreciate this combination of continuity and innovation we cannot simply rely upon precise documentations of the syntactic and metrical distinctions between Milton and Shakespeare.
Wimsatt and Beardsley argued that in attempting to construct a ‘grammar’ of the double pattern the linguistic metrists further isolated the function of poetic form from its interaction with such effects as metaphor, and implied that their programme would encourage the widespread 26 A LINGUISTIC HISTORY OF ENGLISH POETRY image of poetic studies as a hermetic and specialised field. But since the late 1950’s their warning has remained largely unheard. On the one hand linguists have extended and intensified the work of Trager and Smith, Halle and Keyser, Chatman and Kiparsky, and on the other, ‘conventional’ literary critics have remained generally immune from these developments and have drawn upon the methods of traditional and contemporary prosody more or less at random.
In the prose exchange with the Duke the use of the first person pronoun is more clearly limited by its direct dialogic function. When Isabella says ‘I am now going to resolve him’ (193), ‘I have spirit to do any thing’ (211) and ‘I have heard of the lady’ (218) she addresses the previous proposition or statement made by the Duke. Unlike the blank verse sequence each verb or noun phrase dependent upon the personal pronoun of the prose sequence is contrained by the circumstantial progress of the dialogue.