The Poetics of Disappointment: Wordsworth to Ashbery

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University of Virginia Press

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Contents

The Guise of Hope
20
A Love in Desolation Masked
66
Last Thoughts of the Unfinished Thinker
95
The Soul Is Not a Soul 736
136
Afterword 777
171
Bibliography 797
191
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Page 40 - In darkness, and amid the many shapes Of joyless day-light; when the fretful stir Unprofitable, and the fever of the world, Have hung upon the beatings of my heart, How oft, in spirit, have I turned to thee O sylvan Wye!
Page 23 - In vain to me the smiling mornings shine, And reddening Phoebus lifts his golden fire : The birds in vain their amorous descant join, Or cheerful fields resume their green attire. These ears, alas ! for other notes repine ; A different object do these eyes require ; My lonely anguish melts no heart but mine ; And in my breast the imperfect joys expire...
Page 3 - There was a time when, though my path was rough, This joy within me dallied with distress, And all misfortunes were but as the stuff Whence Fancy made me dreams of happiness : For hope grew round me, like the twining vine.
Page 50 - The rainbow comes and goes, And lovely is the rose; The moon doth with delight Look round her when the heavens are bare; Waters on a starry night Are beautiful and fair; The sunshine is a glorious birth; But yet I know, where'er I go, That there hath past away a glory from the earth.
Page 41 - Therefore am I still A lover of the meadows and the woods, And mountains ; and of all that we behold From this green earth; of all the mighty world Of eye, and ear, — both what they half create, And what perceive ; well pleased to recognise In nature and the language of the sense, The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse, The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul Of all my moral being.
Page 72 - If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear; If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee; A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share The impulse of thy strength, only less free Than thou, O uncontrollable!
Page 84 - Yet now despair itself is mild, Even as the winds and waters are ; I could lie down like a tired child, And weep away the life of care Which I have borne and yet must bear...
Page 51 - Though nothing can bring back the hour Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower; We will grieve not, rather find Strength in what remains behind; In the primal sympathy Which having been must ever be ; In the soothing thoughts that spring Out of human suffering; In the faith that looks through death, In years that bring the philosophic mind.
Page 38 - Through a long absence, have not been to me As is a landscape to a blind man's eye: But oft, in lonely rooms, and 'mid the din Of towns and cities, I have owed to them In hours of weariness, sensations sweet, Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart; And passing even into my purer mind, With tranquil restoration...
Page 49 - I hear! —But there's a Tree, of many one, A single Field which I have looked upon, Both of them speak of something that is gone: The Pansy at my feet Doth the same tale repeat: Whither is fled the visionary gleam? Where is it now, the glory and the dream?

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