Poets often play with the Chaucer-type form, leaving us in doubt whether its four various features are indeed exemplified. This gives us another opportunity to blend poetry and philosophy. The general idea is that literary critical attention may guide and be guided by philosophical reflection on difficult cases. Three examples help introduce the issues: passages from J. H. Prynne, ‘Thoughts on the Esterházy Court Uniform’; W. B. Yeats, ‘What was lost’; and Geoffrey Hill, The Triumph of Love. These discussions give us the resources to practise attunement on whole poems, thus shedding light on the way that phrases of this type fit into broader patterns. The examples here are Gerard Manley Hopkins, ‘Thou art indeed just’, and Geoffrey Hill, ‘Ovid in the Third Reich’.
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