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Victorian Prosody: Measuring the Field

Meredith Martin and YiSraeL LeVin he idea of proposing a special issue on Victorian prosody occurred to us after meeting at the 2007 north american Victorian Studies association annual conference in Victoria, B.C. While attending the various panels, we noticed that we kept running into the same group of scholars. the conference was scheduled so that we could walk together from one poetry panel to the next, and so we began to participate in an ongoing conversation that continued over the three days of the conference. the theme of the 2007 naVSa conference was Victorian Materialities and what we began to observe in the papers was that we were all interested, in one way or another, in the boundaries and borders of what had been named cultural neoformalism. From Jason halls paper on the hexameter machine to emily harringtons discussion of Michael Fields publication history, to Catherine robsons history of the popular poem the Burial of Sir John Moore after Corunna, it was clear that less abstract and more historical, indeed, more material investigations of poetic form were afoot.1 the words culture, history, meter, nineteenth century continually appeared together, and we eagerly followed up what it meant for each of us to work with the historicity of poetic form in informal conversations throughout the conference. By the end of the conference, we felt that that the confluence of poetic form and considerations of materiality and material culture presented new ways of approaching the study of Victorian prosody. But how was this renewed interest in prosody distinct from what had come before? Since dennis taylors book, Hardys Metres and Victorian Prosody (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988) scholars have turned their attention to the theories of Coventry Patmore as a pivotal turning point in what early prosodic historian t. S. Omond called the new Prosody in 1907.2 indeed, following taylor, important essays by herbert tucker and Yopie Prins reinvigorated the study of Victorian poetic forms more broadly for the Victorian era,3 while Susan Wolfsons Formal Charges did the same for the romantics.4 and this narrativeof the contemporary interest in poetic form that began in the last decade of the twentieth centuryis repeated at the beginning of most scholarly articles that talk about prosody. Like Victorian prosodists listing their 149

150 / VICTORIAN POETRY forebears, we follow a Victorian prosodic tradition, here, of paying tribute to those who have been interested in reviving the study and understanding of the history of poetic forms, as well as acknowledging the various, and potentially competing, methodologies as a way to assert that we are a discipline in need of (re)consideration. Our initial interaction as potential co-editors, we should probably admit, was somewhat contentious. Why were we hesitant to say that we were simply neo-formalist? how did we perceive prosody in its historical and formal contexts? did a consideration of the formation of prosodic concepts mean that we had to put aside any reflection about the specific cultural circumstances that may have influenced these concepts, or, as many twentieth century linguistic scientists argue, did english prosody contain its own formal genealogy, bound only to linguistic change without any concerns for a larger cultural context? Was the division between cultural circumstances and the development of a linguistic structure an artificial division? there was something intriguing about how our interests in the nature and function of english prosodic categories led each of us in what seemed to be entirely different directions. the fact that we had such divergent approaches made us wonder what other scholars were thinking about prosody at the edges of new historicism and cultural studies. this sense became even more apparent once we started to read the proposals for the papers that now constitute this issue. that is, whereas we are now clearer as to our own approaches, allegiances, and the fissures of our particular disagreements, we can also more clearly see where and how the study of Victorian prosody has significantly changed in the last two decades. though still attentive, always, to the ways that poems are made and received, the scholars in this special issue no longer view prosody as an aesthetic category that is distinct from the political or cultural sphere; indeed, not only does the study of Victorian culture help us understand Victorian prosody, but the study of Victorian prosody, as these seven essays show, helps us to understand Victorian culture. and we suspected, and hoped, that this would be the case. in our call for papers we tried to maintain two goals: first, to allow for an expression of the diversity of approaches we had noticed earlier; and second, to be careful not to replicate the important work of cultural neoformalism. Linda K. hughess 2004 double issue of Victorian Poetry, titled Whither Victorian Poetry, deepened the discussions of poetic form in the Victorian era which we mention above; isobel armstrong characterized the neoformalists as interested in the fundamental act of restructuring and yet the structures of Victorian prosody had not been called to question as stringently as we would have liked.5 Outside of Jason rudys discussion and recontextualization of Coventry Patmore,6 there was little mention of the vast field of Victorian prosody as informing and complicating the idea of poetry in the nineteenth-century. What if

Meredith Martin and YiSraeL LeVin / 151 scholars pushed their understanding of prosody and structure even further? armstrongs questions were the kinds of questions we wanted to ask: does the emergence of a mass reading public and the teaching of vernacular poetry affect the form of poetry? What is the relation between poetry and pedagogy in the nineteenth century? (p. 17), but since one of us was in the middle of completing a manuscript about that very topic, we thought it was best to cast an even wider net, hoping for proposals that would pair emerging and established scholars in the way that hughess special issue had modeled. For that reason, we made the call for papers as open and general as we could, inviting work that would think through Victorian prosody and its association with nineteenth-century concerns with physiology, philosophy, education, science, politics, and questions of englishness, and asked our contributors to redefine the very concept of discipline and even measure. We asked for manuscripts that would offer new perspectives as well as innovative methodologies for a better understanding of the connection between Victorian poetry and prosody, and for any views that may broaden our perception of poetic form in the Victorian era. in this respect, we have been extremely successful; the diversity of approaches and modes of investigation our contributors have employed in their essays clearly showcases what elizabeth Barrett Browning would call the multitudinousness of Victorian prosody. indeed, we were thrilled when Jason hall announced that he would host a conference titled Metre Matters in exeter in 2008. Scholars presented papers that ranged from linguistic analyses, through philological histories of english metrics, the pedagogy of meter, questions of prosody and nationhood, gender and metrical categories, to meter and materiality, and innovative approaches to close-reading. the diversity of views also manifested in the diversity of presenters: leading scholars in the field engaged with graduate students, and scholars came from all corners of the globe to participate in the conversation. We worked closely with Jason to make sure that we were not duplicating our efforts; his edited volume Meter Matters, forthcoming from Ohio University Press, includes essays that, when combined with the essays in this issue, form a strong representation of the contemporary state of the field. One question we kept asking ourselves was whether we can delineate the boundaries of the field of Victorian prosody within Victorian poetry? there were a few boundaries that were surprisingly fixedprimarily the overwhelming attention to anglophone poetry produced in england. that is, we were surprised not to receive more papers on american prosody. after all, edgar allan Poe was a great mid-century prosodic theorist, and thomas Jefferson himself weighed in on prosodic debates.7 though we hardly expected a buzz around Sidney Laniers 1880 The Science of English Verse, we were surprised not to have received a single submission on the prosody of, say, Walt Whitman or emily dickinson. But this omission might also be due to the perceived divide

152 / VICTORIAN POETRY in nineteenth-century poetics, a divide which, we hope, will be complicated by Victorian Poetrys next special issue on global poetics, edited by Max Cavitch. as for missing Victorian poets in new prosodic contexts, we were sad not to be able to include a paper on Christina rossetti and must recommend anne Jamisons recent book Poetics en Passant,8 for its excellent chapter on Goblin Metrics, which we see as speaking directly to the concerns raised in this issue. Likewise we were stunned not to receive a single proposal on the prosody of algernon Charles Swinburne, a poet very close to one of our hearts and long thought, by the modernists, at least, to be the foremost prosodic innovator of the Victorian era (until, of course, he was replaced by the critical darling Gerard Manley hopkins). What are, then, the possible historic reasons for Swinburnes omission? While Swinburnes prosodic virtuosity defines him as a unique and skillful poet, it was also a source of great criticism. t. S. eliots famous view of Swinburne as a poet of great sound but of very little meaning drew on earlier accusations made by Swinburnes contemporaries, but also set the critical atmosphere for most of the twentieth century.9 as a result, later Swinburne scholars generally tried to avoid discussing the formal aspect of his poetry and instead focused on other issues such as his radical politics, sexuality, and spiritual insights.10 this trend, to avoid what may seem to be the more distracting aspects of prosodic form in order to foreground other arguments, held for most of the twentieth century, with Swinburne as only one example among many of poets whose prosodic innovations fell to the margins of critical interest.11 But the lack of contemporary attention to Swinburnes prosody leads us to ask another question: what do we do about poets who do not write about their own prosodic practice? Unlike other formally innovative Victorian poets such as hopkins and Patmore, Swinburne was never concerned with formulating a comprehensive prosodic theory. his letters and critical writings present merely anecdotal references to prosodic matters, and his view of contemporary prosodists was rather dismissive. in his mind, poetry and prosody were not two distinct practices; poetic experimentation was for him a form of prosodic theorization.12 in this respect, Swinburne tried to consciously resist what he felt were late Victorian attempts by philologists to distinguish prosody from poetry. his refusal to engage in prosodic debates may have created the sense he was not aware of them and thus made it harder for later readers to talk about his prosodic approach in a scholarly context. On the other hand, it seems there are very few corners of hopkins poetry, poetic theory, and sermons that have remained unexamined. in fact, we received so many proposals about hopkins that we now have a linked online version of The Hopkins Quarterly, so as to highlight the wealth of new scholarship about hopkins prosody. as the introduction to the linked special issue of the Hopkins Quarterly argues, it has always been a part of reading hopkins

Meredith Martin and YiSraeL LeVin / 153 poetry to learn about and think through his prosodic experiments, so much so that the ways we have developed for reading and criticizing hopkins poems usefully map onto the basic ways that we have read and approached the study of prosody as a discipline in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. But why hopkins? the most basic answer is that, unlike Swinburne, he provides both a theory and practice. that is, even though readers can appreciate that there is some new theory behind his poems, after the publication of his letters, journals and papers scholars were even more interested in attempting to reconstruct these theories. indeed, even robert Bridges, in his earliest introduction to the publication of hopkins poetry (in alfred Miless Poets and Poetry of the Century, published between 1891-1897) could not help but use hopkins as a test case for teaching readers about new approaches to prosody. though many scholars have been obsessed with the mechanics of sprung rhythm or, more recently, the ways that hopkins prosodic investigations are part of a larger conversation about prosody in the nineteenth century, hopkins himself attempted to educate his readers about how to read his poemsboth in the poems themselves and also in his draft of his own prosodic handbook, Rhythm and Other Structural Parts. the specific implications of reading hopkins prosody in his poemsthe syntax, lines, collision of consonants, stresses, and slacksand the broader, general application of his own prosodic handbook as well as his attempts at introducing his poems (in the authors Preface and the preface to the Wreck of the deutschland) assume a reader who is already keyed in to the varieties and instabilities of english prosodic form13a reader, that is, who is also a student of prosody, and one who needs a better guide. as your guides to this special issue, then, what we can say is that many of the essays that constitute it point to a kind of renewed understanding when we read meter historically, as nineteenth-century readers may have understood it. at once an entirely familiar discourse and at the same time an unsettling debate, the prosody of the nineteenth-century was understood as anglo-Saxon, Classical, classed, gendered, elite, for the masses, and everything in between. rather than couching Victorian prosody as a simple debate between those who want to measure by stress and those who want to measure by quantity, these essays show the ways prosody reached into the farthest corners of the Victorian imagination. Prosody provided a way of thinking, a method of protest, of scientific argument and investigation, of negotiating gender, class, and national structures, and even a way of feeling at home away from home. no one definition of prosody emerges from these essays; rather, prosody as a historical category changes and complicates our assumptions about the creation and reception of poems. again and again we see how Victorian poets call out their readers assumptions about poetic forms and use these assumptions to make new claims about order, stability, and community. in Linda K. hughess opening essay, ironizing Prosody in John davidsons

154 / VICTORIAN POETRY a Ballad in Blank Verse, she points to the ways that the conventions of prosody were parodied to political and personal ends. her essay argues that davidson destabiliz[es] conventional relationships between poetic genres and their associated meters even though his poet-speaker relies on blank verse and prior literary tradition. Following Prins, hughes argues that davidson and other Victorian poets are aware of the ideologies attached to various metrical forms; and his ensuing narrative calls these ideologies into question as part of a broader argument about all dogmas (p. x). By calling attention to davidsons engagement with the ideologies of metrical form, hughes reads davidsons engagement with both aesthetics and politics through the lens of a broader reconsideration of davidsons ironic poetic persona. Jason halls essay Materializing Meter: Physiology, Psychology, Prosody takes us beyond our literary-disciplinary boundaries to present an alternate history of the rise of meter as a material science in German studies of sound. hall points to the way that, despite empirical evidence, conventional associations (which relied on an abstraction of terms) remained powerful, even into the twentieth century. in arguing that the debates between idealist and materialist understandings of meter parallel developments in acoustics, phonetics, and speech physiology, and by showing how prosodic conventions win out in the end, hall bolsters hughess claim that prosodic conventions held ideological and cultural weight despite a lack of empirical proof. these metrical ideologies, however, were, powerfully, not only english; indeed, Ben Glasers Polymetrical dissonance: tennyson, a. Mary F. robinson, and Classical Meter shows how robinson, like tennyson, creates metrical strain by importing classical schemes and bringing them into contact with traditional iambic meters. By using and manipulating classical meters, robinson attempts to create uncomfortable new meters in english that accommodate her particular position as a female poet, thus bringing together, through her meter, both gender and class concerns. Glasers essay teaches us to read robinsons poems in a more nuanced way, but he also questions the assumption that prosody has to be regular to be understood; that is, by proving that robinsons prosody aimed for dissonance, Glaser argues that prosodic instability is perhaps a more efficient way of thinking about robinsons particular relationship between herself and the world. Similarly, but relating more broadly to the movements of nineteenth-century science, hazel hutchisons essay Visual experience and the Poetics of Gerard Manley hopkins shows how hopkins develops his poetic techniques in order to explore ideas about connectivity, sensation, the nature of language, and the boundary between internal and external experiencethemes which would come to popular attention in the early twentieth century, but which dominated Victorian intellectual life from the 1850s onward. drawing on recent work in hopkins studies,14 hutchisons essay presents an idea of eye-rhyme that shows how prosody was an allegory,

Meredith Martin and YiSraeL LeVin / 155 for hopkins and for other poets, for all kinds of forms. Like hazel hutchison, Caroline Levine uses poetic form as a springboard to talk about allegories of form elsewhere. rhythms, Poetic and Political: the Case of elizabeth Barrett Browning argues that both poetry and politics are fundamentally forms that curb and shackle, confine and contain. Building on her earlier arguments, Levine argues that it seems crucial to attend to the ways that forms in the world cooperate and compete, intersect and interrupt before turning to readings of elizabeth Barrett Brownings poems about Queen Victoria to show the ways that eBBs use of poetic form complicates her relationship to the monarchy. though the nation state is one of Sidney Laniers main concerns, Jason rudy argues in Manifest Prosody that Laniers move to elide the american with the early english, a move consistent throughout his prosodic and poetic writings, was an especially significant gesture in post-Civil War america. Complicating recent work by John d. Kerkering,15 rudy shows the ways in which meter was used as a site to negotiate feelings of belonging and alienation in the work of Sidney Lanier, arguing, essentially, that meter is always on the move, perhaps never arriving but giving just enough semblance of a destination that we feel like we are in a kind of home. Finally, herbert tucker reveals the history of his own prosodic practice, in Poetic data and the news from Poems: a For Better of Verse Memoir, where he discusses editing and guiding students through what is essentially an online prosodic handbook, complete with red x marks and green affirmative checks when poems are marked according to the rules of traditional scansion. data, in tuckers case, refers not only to the electronic medium that inspires his insights, but also to what he shows to be the great amount of information coded into poems metrical scheme. While prosodic criticism does not necessitate close-reading, as the essays in this issue indicate, it does nonetheless draw attention to close-reading. the close-reading it calls for, however, is not the same kind of close-reading which critical theorists of the last three decades have warned us against. a return to prosody means a renewed interests in texts, and, more specifically, in the very basic units and components that constitute textshow these very components are also implicated in the larger cultural field. acknowledging the significance of syllabic distribution, caesurae, and isochronicity does not assume a disregard of contextual concerns. On the contrary, since formal choices are always informed by historical and personal contexts, they gesture toward human experiences. a Victorian poets imitation of Miltons blank verse tells us a great deal about his or her class background or class aspirations in the same way that metrical instability in a poem about religious devotion may indicate spiritual doubts. as such, this kind of prosodic close-reading simultaneously works on two extreme scales: on the scale of the single vowel and on the scale of the poets personal history. Can we thus understand close-

156 / VICTORIAN POETRY reading in humanistic terms? new approaches to prosody allow us, perhaps even require us, to rethink the function of close-reading. a renewed interest in the text, in its inner mechanism and subtleties does not mean, as we were led to believe, that we cannot see beyond the text. rather, by looking into the genealogy of the various aspects of poetic forms, we are able to learn something of the lives of the individuals who shaped them and perhaps something about those individuals own intellectual and cultural genealogies. Scansion, that old stuffy practice, acquires, then, a post-modern significance. Our concern, though, is no longer with marking iambs or finding anapestic substitutions, but rather with the manner in which the location of a stressed syllable gestures toward a reality beyond the poetic line.16 But can we truly understand the historicity of forms? Perhaps because these broader personal and cultural contexts can also seem too unrulyindeed, perhaps immeasurablewe do want to acknowledge that, in both near and far considerations of prosody, critics must be aware of the limitations, the formal constraints, of these kinds of investigations. We suggest and encourage tracking or tracing how a certain form may have been recognizable to a certain audience over timethe popular reading of the ballad as representative of oral culture or hexameter as an attempt to classicize english verse.17 Forms accrue cultural meaning over time, and understanding form as something that is dynamic and changing allows for a more nuanced reading of the poem at the moments of composition, the moments of reception, and might also provide clues to a poems circulation. the awareness of this fact seems critical to us, crucial, because it reconnects poets with their craft. in our teaching, we might integrate this fact by making the poetry lesson not only about poetic forms but also about the evolution and movement of forms across national borders and across time. Forms evolve and move, mutate and change. even when a form, for example the sonnet, is utterly recognizable to those of us trained to look for it, the task of the poet is to continue the conversation in the form, to make it his or her own in a way. if the stanza is a room, poets walk into it and decorate it however they like. Sometimes they might knock down a wall. Sometimes the decoration might be so ornate that we do not recognize it at all. they might replace the walls with windows so that they are barely perceptible. But there is something about walking into that room that might help the poet say what they want to say, because in the end the poet is saying that thing not only through the sonnet form, but also to the sonnet form. Choosing to write with a form is an engagement with that form, a contract that you are acknowledging the forms past and adding to the discourse about its future. So we might describe historical prosody as an awareness that forms might mean different things at different historical moments, and poets (especially in the nineteenth century) are aware of this formal dynamism and engage with it directly, making metrical discourses expressive in their experiments with

Meredith Martin and YiSraeL LeVin / 157 forms that have accrued an amount of traditional authority. So what is different about historical prosody that is not just an awareness of the historical contingencies of poetic form? does the history of meter not prove that iambs exist in english, or at least, that the nineteenth century believes that they exist? George Saintsbury says so, and in the last twenty years, as we have grown more historically curious about poetic form, we have turned to Sainstbury over and over again to guide us in our thinking about the nineteenth century. We have turned to Patmore, too, and his English Metrical Law, to Lanier, to Poe, and even, more recently, to edwin Guests incredibly important and influential History of English Rhythms. Like reading Gerard Manley hopkins letters, journals, and prefaces as an instruction manual about how to read or perform his verses, using historical prosodic texts might provide clues about how nineteenth century poets were using and making interventions in their metrical practice. But what is most important about our understanding of Victorian prosody is to acknowledge that these discourses about meter and rhythm, not only in these canonical texts but in the thousands of metrical treatises, pamphlets, grammar books, and manuals that were printed between the late eighteenth and mid-twentieth centuriesthese discourses, at heart, do not agree. and it is not that they simply do not agree about whether or not the iamb exists, but they do not agree about what meter has been in the past and what it will be in the future. For us, this allows a frightening amount, indeed, a destabilizing amount of freedom. What if, instead of a border, a boundary, a measure, delineation, a container, a shape, meter was a more of a discursive in-between space? a no mans land, a battlefield, a mediator between the writer and the readera mediator between the self and the worldbut what about a mediator between the self and the self? What if we read meter through the history of prosody over the last two hundred years as a discourse that is dynamic and changing on very public levelsthe level of linguistic change, of educational change, of the shift from elocutionary performance to private readingas well as a discourse that is dynamic and changing on private levels, too? Perhaps the most immediately useful aspect of many of these approaches is their acknowledgement that prosody handbooks should be considered a genre alongside canonical texts that discuss poetics in the nineteenth century. this largely unexamined archive teaches us about language, national culture, and the establishment of our modern discipline of english. By recovering and seeking to contextualize and understand these non-canonical texts, we can put Coleridge into conversation with elocution handbooks, as the work of Julia Carlson is doing, or look at the ways Wordsworths rural englishness is cited again and again as a representational example of english poetry in nineteenthcentury grammar books, or think about how american poets received Sidney Laniers theories, as does recent work by John Kerkering, or consider the ways

158 / VICTORIAN POETRY that poetic forms represented circulation in and of themselves, as does new work by Jason rudy. By discovering and embracing the multitudinousness of poetic forms in circulation we can begin to question our contemporary reliance, particularly in our pedagogy, on only a few ways of discussing poetic form.18 Forms accrue cultural meaning over time, and understanding form as something that is dynamic and changing allows for a more nuanced reading of the poem at the moments of composition, the moments of reception, and might also provide clues to a poems circulation. Of course prosody as a term contains its own lesson about ambivalence, about pedagogy, and about the simultaneous desire for and failure to connect. in the nineteenth century prosody can teach us as much about ambivalence and the desire for stability as it can about experiment and disruption. that is, we are slowly learning to question the assumption that there is something natural to rhythm. We are becoming more interested in the external aspects of form that might become internal or intrinsic to the poem, to the way that a culture informs an individuals choice and manipulation of poetic form. Victorian prosody counts in all of these various ways and we are excited to deepen and complicate the discourse with the forthcoming issue on global poetics that we have mentioned (edited by Max Cavitch); it is clear, particularly in the papers by Jason rudy and Ben Glaser, that there is more to do in the field of global historical poetics, transatlantic exchange, and the issue of prosody in and as translation. Upcoming or recent conferences seem now to be all about form or prosody in the nineteenth century, and we might see this trend as expansionist if we were not so devoted to the close-reading that prosody affords us at its center. the British association for Victorian Studies conference in 2010 in Glasgow was titled Forms and Formations and included a panel on the prosody of Gerard Manley hopkins as well as a panel about the science of poetry. the 2010 Charlottesville Victorians institute Conference theme was By the numbers and the Montreal naVSa 2010 topic was Scale and Perspective. Whereas past Victorian studies conferences had perhaps only one or two panels concerning poetry, now conferences seem specifically concerned with issues of prosody: form, counting, scale. each of these conferences contains a panel or even two that specifically explores issues and new approaches to Victorian prosody. We like to think that this issue, then, represents not only an important field in Victorian poetry but also an important and growing field in Victorian studies most broadly conceived. Of course, one final caution to the study of prosody, as we have found, is that everything seems to fall under its purview.


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1 hall and harrington have since published article versions of these papers. See Jason hall, Popular Prosody: Spectacle and the Politics of Victorian Versification, Nineteenth Century Literature 62 (2007): 222-249; emily harrington, Michael Field and the detachable Lyric, Victorian Studies 50, no. 2 (Winter 2008): 221-232. Catherine robsons paper is part of her forthcoming book Heartbeats: Everyday Life and the Memorized Poem (forthcoming, Princeton Univ. Press). t. S. Omond, English Metrists in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1907), p. 148. More recent scholars have downplayed Patmores influence; Jason rudy, in his recent book Electric Meters (athens: Ohio Univ. Press, 2009), reminds us that it was Gerard Manley hopkins and Coventry Patmore who first coined the term new prosody. See chapter four Patmore, hopkins, and the Uncertain Body of Victorian Poetry, pp. 111-136. herbert tucker, the Fix of Form: an Open Letter, Victorian Literature and Culture 27, no. 2 (1999): 531-535; Yopie Prins, Victorian Meters, in The Cambridge Companion to Victorian Poetry, ed. Joseph Bristow (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2000). We were and are beholden to isobel armstrong, who did so much to rethink the politics of poetry in the Victorian era. Susan Wolfson, Formal Charges: The Shaping of Poetry in British Romanticism (Stanford: Stanford Univ. Press, 1999); see also Jason hall, Metre, history, Context: introduction to the Metre Matters Cluster, Literature Compass 6/2 (2009): 511-514. Linda K. hughes, editor, VP 41, no. 4 (2003), and VP 42, no. 1 (2004): 1-8; isobel armstrong, the Victorian Poetry Party, VP 42, no. 1 (2004): 9. Jason rudy, On Cultural neoformalism, Spasmodic Poetry, and the Victorian Ballad, VP 43, no. 4 (2003): 590-596. Yopie Prins published historical Poetics, dysprosody, and The Science of English Verse in 2008 (PMLA 123, no. 1 [2008]: 229-234), reporting on the inaugural meeting of the historical Poetics reading group (which is now in its third year of meeting once a term), a group of scholars from both sides of the atlantic who reconsiders various poetic categories. anne Jamison, Poetics en Passant: Redefining the Relationship between Victorian and Modern Poetry (new York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), pp. 145-178. See t. S. eliot, Swinburne as Poet, The Sacred Wood (London: Faber, 1997), pp. 122-127, and Clyde K. hyder, Swinburne: The Critical Heritage (new York: routledge, 1970), pp. 35-38. a notable exception is Stephanie Kuduk-Weiner, Republican Politics and English Poetry 1789-1874 (new York: Palgrave, Macmillan, 2005). A. C. Swinburne and the Singing Word, ed. Yisrael Levin (ashgate, 2010) attempts to reverse this trend. See Yisrael Levin, But the Law Must Be Poetic: Swinburne, Omond, and new Prosody, Meter Matters, ed. Jason david hall (Ohio Univ. Press, forthcoming). See Meredith Martin, Prosody Wars, in Meter Matters, ed. Jason hall (athens: Ohio Univ. Press, forthcoming); The Rise and Fall of Meter: Poetry and National Culture (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, forthcoming). Catherine Phillips, Gerard Manley Hopkins and the Victorian Visual World (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2007). John d. Kerkering, The Poetics of National and Racial Identity in Nineteenth-Century American Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2003), p. 119.

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16 See Meredith Martin, Gerard Manley hopkins and the Stigma of Meter, Victorian Studies 50, no. 2 (2008): 243-253, introduction, The Rise and Fall of Meter: Poetry and National Culture. 17 See Yopie Prins, nineteenth-century homers and the hexameter Mania, in Nation, Language, and the Ethics of Translation, ed. Sandra Bermann and Michael Wood (Princeton, Princeton Univ. Press, 2005), pp. 229-256; Michael Cohen Cultures of Poetry in Nineteenth-Century America (dissertation, new York University, 2007). 18 See Julia Carlson, the Map and the Blank Verse Poem, Romanticism (forthcoming); John d. Kerkering, The Poetics of National and Racial Identity in Nineteenth-Century American Literature; Jason rudy ,Manifest Prosody, VP 49, no. 2 (2011): 253-266.

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