"Syren Strains": Victorian Women's Devotional Poetry and John Keble's the Christian Year.
Victorian Poetry 2006, Spring, 44, 1
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---John Keble, "Palm Sunday" (1) John Keble seems to have had very little to say about women, and, at first glance, very little to say to women. He taught no female students. His Lectures on Poetry were delivered and published in Latin, unintelligible to most Victorian women, (2) and briefly mention only one woman poet, Sappho. Whenever discussing poets--and Christians--Keble uses exclusively the masculine pronoun. However, as Isobel Armstrong and more recently Cynthia Scheinberg have persuasively argued, the Tractarian poetic theory espoused and demonstrated by Keble contributed in important ways to the expressive poetics within which nineteenth-century women could both claim poetic identity and also maneuver to critique the cultural construction of their subjectivity. (3) At a fundamental level, Tractarianism's emphasis on feeling and perception in poetry could provide a potent sanction for women to write. The importance of investigating the "distaff side" of Tractarian poetics, and Keble's particular role in its development, has become central to an understanding of female poetics; as Emma Francis argues, "Without a proper appreciation of Keble we will continue to misunderstand several aspects of the role and the extent of the legitimation of the Victorian woman poet." (4)
- 2,99 €
- Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
- Published: 22 March 2006
- Publisher: West Virginia University Press, University of West Virginia
- Print Length: 26 Pages
- Language: English