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Romanticism and the Self-Conscious Poem$
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Michael O'Neill

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198122852

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198122852.001.0001

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‘The Mind Which Feeds This Verse’: Shelley (1)

‘The Mind Which Feeds This Verse’: Shelley (1)

Chapter:
(p.119) 5 ‘The Mind Which Feeds This Verse’: Shelley (1)
Source:
Romanticism and the Self-Conscious Poem
Author(s):

Michael O'Neill

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198122852.003.0005

Why are Shelley's poems often about writing poetry, even as they are about many things other than writing poetry? This chapter argues that this reflexiveness reveals Shelley to be, in a high and embattled sense of the word, a poet, and a poet of criss-crossing perspectives — not a philosopher manqué, not a (heterodox) theologian manqué, not a political theorist manqué. To be a poet involves, for Shelley, an impassioned but complicated trust in the imagination and its products. If, in addition, it involves a sophisticated ‘belief in the autonomy of art’, such belief is in contact with doubt.

Keywords:   Shelley, imagination, art

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