Monday, July 29, 2019

John Crowe Ransom described Hardy as essentially a Victorian poet, in Essay

John Crowe Ransom described Hardy as essentially a Victorian poet, in which sense is this true - Essay Example His first volume of poems, Wessex Poems, was not published before 1898, even though a number of its lyrics dated from the 1870s. Early critics found Hardy's lyrics tasteless as well as his novels, in particular, because of their unsophisticated style, pessimistic motifs and abstractive philosophy. He was also charged with his simplistic refrains and uncomplicatedness of his lyric forms. Furthermore, he was "accused of writing lyrics that were flawed by the pervasiveness of the philosophy that informed them. Gothic architecture loomed in the back of Hardy's mind throughout his career as a poet, providing a powerful model for artistic unity and complexity" (Mitchell, 1988, p.307). Contemporary critics admire his self-sufficient 'evolutionary meliorism' and his sharp poetical irony, woven into his own psychological insights as well as modernist 'spareness' and roughness of his poetic and melodic experiences. His poetry is a quintessence of loss, severe nostalgia and the somber borders of human hope and love. To great extent, Hardy saw himself as a poet - foremost a poet - through his literary career, and even though his poetic heritage is not always acknowledged by critics, his numerous powerful verses, such as 'Nature's Questioning', 'Neutral Tones', 'The Convergence of the Twain' and many others, make the reader re-think one's own existence and human emotions on the background of Victorian landscape. "His poetry is spare, unadorned, and unromantic, and its pervasive theme is man's futile struggle against cosmic forces. Hardy's vision reflects a world in which Victorian complacencies were dying but its moralism was not, and in which science had eliminated the comforting certainties of religion" (The Columbia Encyclopedia, 2004, p. 684 (21027)). Thomas Hardy is often seen as a Victorian poet (Williams, 1972; Page, 2000; Mitchell, 1988) for his perception of time, space and external objects, typically attributed to Victorian realism. Thus, it is important to outline the typical features of classical Victorian poetry. First of all, poetry was considered superior than prose by Victorian poets, because the real genius can be noticed in lyrics and rhymes. Poetic illustration of social problems was vital, and poets were viewed as masters of style and rhythm, due to their ability to interweave profound philosophy (including philosophy of life) with such social issues, as marriage, gender and education. Secondly, Victorian poets widely used retrospective forms (such as epigram, epitaph and elegy) and archaic language. In addition, they sometimes referred to ancient mythical characters, especially to those from Greek mythology. On the other hand, despite the general elaboration of language and style, many poets practiced simplistic and colloquial genres. Thirdly, Victorian poetry is also characterized by the use of social themes, such as individual versus society, social drama, as well as by realistic approach (influenced by the emergence of Utilitarianism, Unitarianism and other moral theories). In addition, many poets appealed to the reader's sympathy and sentimentalism as well as to his/her imagination (Page, 2000) (especially as it related to rural landscapes and pastorals), but merely within the realistic context. In addition, the

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