The Poet and his Audience

Overview

How far, and in what respects, is a poet's work influenced by the kind of audience for which he writes? The question is crucial to our understanding of how great poems came to be written, yet it has rarely been addressed in a systematic study. In this fascinating and illuminating book Ian Jack has chosen six major poets - Dryden, Pope, Byron, Shelley, Tennyson, and Yeats - and has traced the career of each to discover the nature and the extent of their readers' influence on their poetry. He shows that poets ...

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Overview

How far, and in what respects, is a poet's work influenced by the kind of audience for which he writes? The question is crucial to our understanding of how great poems came to be written, yet it has rarely been addressed in a systematic study. In this fascinating and illuminating book Ian Jack has chosen six major poets - Dryden, Pope, Byron, Shelley, Tennyson, and Yeats - and has traced the career of each to discover the nature and the extent of their readers' influence on their poetry. He shows that poets living in different periods and different cultural milieux addressed themselves to very differently constituted audiences (though all tended to have a close circle of highly sensitive friends on whom they could first test their work in private), and indicates how their need to adapt to the prevailing conditions shaped the nature of their poetry.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521278096
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/5/1984
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. Dryden: servant to the King; 2. Pope: no man's slave; 3. Byron: too sincere a poet; 4. Shelley: the unacknowledged legislator; 5. Tennyson: Laureate to Victoria; 6. Yeats: always an Irish writer; Conclusion; Notes; Index.

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