Colour and Experience in Nineteenth-Century Poetry by Richard Cronin

By Richard Cronin

This examine examines phrases used for color as they seem within the paintings of a few of the 19th century poets, which opens the right way to a dialogue of the relation in 19th century poems among language, event and cost. the writer lines in all the poets Keats, Browning and Hopkins the forging of language that mediates among a approach of values and the flux of expertise. color phrases turn into an important symptoms of a fashion of taking a look at the area that defines the poetry of the 19th century. Richard Cronin is writer of "Shelley's Poetic Thoughts".

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When the albatross is hung around the mariner's neck he becomes a living emblem of the predicament of mortal man: he is fastened to a dead animal. Death, or rather the knowledge of death, is represented as the consequence of division. In killing the albatross the mariner divides his life from the life of the rest of creation, and at the moment of separation he finds that he is born to die. Further divisions, the division of the sailors from the natural world, and of the mariner from the rest of the crew, inevitably follow.

The neoclassical championing of white marble, of line over colour, owes at least as much to this as it did to any study of the antique. When, in Colour and Light (Goethe's Theory), Turner peoples his canvas with queer little heads enclosed in iridescent bubbles, he seems to be offering a visual representation of Addison's position. But there are two crucial differences. First, Addison's anxiety is play-acted. Colour is a 'pleasing delusion', a delusion that we all share, and for which we should be grateful.

The analogy associating the two lights must in the end be abandoned. But God's light is 'ineffable'. The epithet is precise. Thomson can acknowledge the need for such a light, but he can otherwise take no account of it. In consequence The Seasons is a deistic poem that registers its awareness of the limitations of deism only by substituting for a conclusion a silence. The order perceived by the 'sage-instructed eye' is incomplete in comparison with the order perceived by God, but the divine order may only be contemplated, not spoken.

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