As a young woman, Alice Meynell viewed her role as a poet with skepticism, an ambivalence that arose from a sense that nineteenth-century lyric traditions had little place for her. Meynell's uncertainty gives both thematic and formal shape to her poetry, accounting for some of its elusiveness. She came to value a certain distance between separate iterations of herself; this distance enables her to understand the relationship between herself as a reader and observer and herself as a poet. This article examines Meynell's self-haunting poetic voice; it can illuminate her understanding of these roles over the course of her career. Meynell emerged as an influential poet of the 1890s, and her scrutiny of this role provides insight into fin-de-siècle literary culture and its exploration of who a poet is or might be.


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pp. 291-309
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Archive Status
Will Be Archived 2021
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