Shelburne Essays, Third Series

Shelburne Essays, Third Series

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Excerpt: ...fancy, but from feeling, and worthy to occupy, a niche beside Beatrice and Laura." Now this sonnet-sequence of Miss Rossetti's is far from her best work, and holds a lower rank in every way than that passionate self-revelation of Mrs. Browning's; yet to read these confessions of the two poets together is a good way to get at the division between their spirits. In Miss Rossetti's sonnets all those feminine traits I have dwelt on are present to a marked, almost an exaggerated, degree. They are harmonious within themselves, and filled with a quiet ease; Pg 136 only the higher inspiration is lacking to them in comparison with her Passing Away, and other great lyrics. In Mrs. Browning, on the contrary, one cannot but feel a disturbing element. The very tortuousness of her language, the straining to render her emotion in terms of the intellect, introduces a quality which is out of harmony with the ground theme of feminine surrender. More than that, this submission to love, if looked at more closely, is itself in large part such as might proceed from a man as well as from a woman, so that there results an annoying confusion of masculine and feminine passion. Take, for instance, the twenty-second of the Portuguese Sonnets, one of the most perfect in the series: When our two souls stand up erect and strong, Face to face, drawing nigher and nigher, Until the lengthening wings break into fire At either curvshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 64 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 3mm | 132g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236729498
  • 9781236729491