Gerard Manley Hopkins, after reading Enoch Arden, had begun to doubt Alfred Tennyson. He had previously thought of Tennyson as always new, touching, beyond other poets, not pressed with human ailments, never using Parnassian. However, it appeared, he did use Parnassian. That same year Tennyson commented in ‘The Flower’ on the reception of his poetry: despised at first, it had then been so widely imitated, that his ‘flower’ had come to seem as commonplace as a weed. Both Hopkins and Tennyson were right. Tennyson’s later work does suffer from self-plagiarism, and other plagiarists have damaged his reputation; but the original flowering of his poetry was indeed a marvellous phenomenon. Though its special power is more easily felt than analysed, it clearly springs from a rare gift for verbal music, and for suggesting, by imagery, sound-effects and word-connotations, the flavour of subjective experience.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.