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ENGLISH POETRY

BY

CHARLES F. JOHNSON, L.H.D.

17
PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH LITERATURE IN TRINITY COLLEGE,

HARTFORD

Author of "Elements of Literary Criticism," "Outline History

of English and American Literature," etc.

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NEW YORK ::: CINCINNATI .:: CHICAGO
AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY

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This book contains nothing more than every young person should know about the construction of English verse, and its main divisions both by forms and by subject-matter. The historical development of eight of these divisions is sketched and briefly illustrated by examples, but the true character of poetry as an art and a social force has always been in the writer's mind. The study of prosody pure and simple is to most students of an average class wearisome and fruitless, though there are but few who do not become interested in poetry if the technical side is not exclusively regarded by the teacher. Such an interest naturally acquired in youth is of great value. It becomes part of character. It usually results from the atmosphere of the family, but it may be cultivated in the class room, and it is the object of this book to aid the teacher in doing so, either by its use as a text-book or by setting examinations on the chapters in connection with courses of reading. The study and analysis of a classic text to fulfill the requirements of admission to college frequently has the effect of creating a rooted distaste of literature and a sense of hopelessness of ever understanding why it is considered admirable. This is a regrettable result; for a love of imaginative literature, if not artificial or sentimental, is a valuable tonic in modern life, perfectly compatible with practical energy, and far more needed in intellectual development now than it was in the more romantic and credulous ages.

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