Abstract

Abstract:

Elegy has become a genre more honored in the breach than the observance: its focus on the poet-mourner’s own grief risks seeming histrionic. Or it may seem that the poet consoles herself too quickly, undermining her sincerity and disrespecting the deceased. This article explores a negotiation of the risks attendant upon elegy by examining three poems of William Wordsworth’s late career that commemorate members of his intimate circle, including Samuel Taylor Coleridge. These poems are significant examples of Wordsworth’s revision of the elegiac as he had inherited and practiced it because they commemorate and mourn tacitly, founding themselves on a newly dead friend’s old poetic words rather than voicing grief directly. What is memorialized is as much the old poetry as the friend himself.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 787-812
Launched on MUSE
2019-12-04
Open Access
No
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