By Rodney Stenning Edgecombe
While Thomas Hood has lengthy been considered as a minor comedian poet, this book--the first to commit itself solely to his verse--provides an in depth research of 2 'serious' poems ('Hero and Leander' and 'The Plea of the Midsummer Fairies') which will supply a greater feel of his diversity. such a lot commentators have pointed to the effect of Keats on such events, yet shut exam unearths an excellent larger debt to Elizabethan and Metaphysical poets, whose occasionally playful deployment of the self-esteem struck a chord in his sensibility. while, the booklet provides Hood's comedian genius its due, delivering targeted bills of the deftness and panache of his light-hearted oeuvre. One bankruptcy examines his expedition into the mock-heroic mode (Odes and Addresses to nice People), and one other his reliance on that airiest of types, the capriccio (Whims and Oddities). The research concludes with an in depth exam of 'Miss Kilmansegg and Her beneficial Leg,' displaying how Hood used to be right here in a position to inflect a jeu d'esprit with an outstanding Juvenalian ardour.
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Extra resources for A Self-divided Poet: Form and Texture in the Verse of Thomas Hood
But the striking thing about the collection is less its variety of content than its variety of form and technique. While a certain sameness arises from the puns that laminate the verbal surface throughout, there can also be no doubting that Hood explores almost every aspect of the mock-heroic ode, and repeatedly plunges his hand into its bag of tricks. Rochesterian paradox, static apostrophe that goes nowhere slowly, ludicrous metaphors, reductive similes—all can be found somewhere or other, and so can the full range of mock-heroic tone.
And it's equally fitting that it should remain stuck in appositional glue for stanza after stanza. A heap of discarded images builds up as Hood repeatedly tries to get the size of his unknown object—a parable of non-advancement not unlike that cliché of crumpled papers in a wastebin as an image of writer's block. ' Constable's literary John-a-nokes— The real Scottish wizard—to no which, Nobody—in a niche! For this to function syntactically, the reader has to insert a noun (say, "a statue") before "to no" and then to assume that "which" has been made substantive by the trope of anallage.
The ode accordingly ends with symposia in both the literal and figurative senses of that word—a set of fantastical dinners, at which, owing to an exigent pun on warrens and rabbits, Kitchiner serves his guests melted cheese on toast. Such a diet is a much mock-heroic as it is improbable: Thou art, of course, th' Epitome of all That spying—frying—singing—mix'd Society Of Scientific Friends, who used to meet Welch Rabbits—and thyself—in Warren Street! 66 The common action, of course, is gormandizing, and the poet poses Kitchiner in the midst of his guests, offering them delicacies instead of the customary bambino: Oh, hast thou still those Conversazioni?
A Self-divided Poet: Form and Texture in the Verse of Thomas Hood by Rodney Stenning Edgecombe