By Richard Cronin
This research examines phrases used for color as they seem within the paintings of a few of the 19th century poets, which opens tips to a dialogue of the relation in 19th century poems among language, event and price. the writer strains in all of the poets Keats, Browning and Hopkins the forging of language that mediates among a procedure of values and the flux of expertise. color phrases develop into the most important signs of a fashion of the realm that defines the poetry of the 19th century. Richard Cronin is writer of "Shelley's Poetic Thoughts".
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Extra resources for Colour and Experience in Nineteenth-Century Poetry
It is true that before Endymion takes his vow of celibacy he does reject his love of Cynthia, and pledges himself to the mortal princess: I have clung To nothing, loved a nothing, nothing seen Or felt but a great dream! (IV. 636-8) He convicts himself of presumption 'against the tie I Of mortals each to each'. He turns to the princess and kneels to her: Here will I kneel, for thou redeemed hast My life from too thin breathing. (IV. 649-50) Endymion's speech is diffusely written, but seems authoritative.
This is the conclusion to which Endymion drives, and if it is an immature belief, a belief that Keats had to grow out of, then Keats's critics have access to mature lore hidden from me. But it is less than convincing to rebut a reading of Lamia by offering a reading of Endymion, and in Lamia we find this passage: Let the mad poets say whate' er they please Of the sweets of Fairies, Peris, Goddesses, There is not such a treat among them all, Haunters of cavern, lake, and waterfall, As a real woman, lineal indeed From Pyrrha's pebbles or old Adam's seed.
But the waters burn 'white' as well as green and blue: they are phosphorescent. Coleridge had read in Priestley's Optics an explanation of this phenomenon in a chapter strikingly entitled 'Of the Putrescence of the Sea'. 6 Priestley correctly explains such light as deriving from the rotting of myriads of microscopic sea organisms. The phosphorescent whiteness of the waters acts as a ghastly parody of pure white light: the 'rotting sea', emblem here of all mortal life, mimics in its putrescence the white light from which it is divorced.
Colour and Experience in Nineteenth-Century Poetry by Richard Cronin