By A.V.C. Schmidt
Ardour and Precision includes twenty essays on a number of significant medieval and smooth English and Irish poets. the 1st half includes 3 chapters on Chaucer, together with a considerable new research of Troilus and Criseyde, 4 on Chaucer's nice modern the Pearl-poet, and one evaluating the 2 poets. The middle of the second one half is six chapters on T. S. Eliot, 3 of them pioneering explorations of his poetic language. they're preceded via 3 on Hopkins, Shelley and Yeats (including a brand new research of Yeats's verse-technique), and through one on David Jones and Auden, and on Geoffrey Hill and Seamus Heaney. The formerly released essays were largely revised, supplemented with appendixes and cross-referenced, and an entire Bibliography and Index are supplied. the writer brings to his interpreting of ten consultant poets from largely separated classes of English literature, the fourteenth and the 20 th centuries, an analogous passionate and certain awareness as they dropped at their writing.
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Extra resources for Passion and Precision: Collected Essays on English Poetry from Geoffrey Chaucer to Geoffrey Hill
5, its main source, and the title ‘Chaucer upon this fyfte meter of the second book’; it is followed by ‘Fortune’, also in ballade royal form. ‘The Former Age’ has been thought by some to be unfinished, but the abrupt ending of st. 8 is dramatically convincing and the Structure, Language and Myth in Chaucer’s The Former Age 15 missing l. 56, which would have had to end with a word rhyming on -ye, might have been lost through scribal oversight. 5 On ‘movement’ and ‘texture’, see Ch. IX, pp. 210-11 below.
Lewis says: The end of Troilus is the great example in our literature of pathos pure and unrelieved. All is to be endured and nothing is to be done (Allegory of Love 195). W. B. ’25 Troilus and Criseyde shows him to have been mistaken. For it is ‘enduring all, while doing nothing’ that provides Chaucer with the substance of some of his greatest poetry, as what began as romantic comedy turns into tragedy of the starkest kind. In his poetic novel he painstakingly builds up a credible world of vital and joyous human experience, and then painfully proceeds to take that world apart.
Structure, Language and Myth in Chaucer’s The Former Age APPENDICES TO CHAPTER I: CHAUCER’S SOURCES Ia Boethius, Boece, Walton, Ovid 1) Boethius, De Consolatione Philosophiae, Bk II, Metrum V Felix nimium prior aetas Contenta fidelibus aruis Nec inerti perdita luxu, Facili quae sera solebat Ieiunia soluere glande. Non Bacchica munera norant Liquido confundere melle Nec lucida uellera Serum Tyrio miscere ueneno. Somnos dabat herba salubres, Potum quoque lubricus amnis, Vmbras altissima pinus. Nondum maris alta secabat Nec mercibus undique lectis Noua litora uiderat hospes.