By Rodney Stenning Edgecombe
While Thomas Hood has lengthy been considered as a minor comedian poet, this book--the first to commit itself solely to his verse--provides an in depth research of 2 'serious' poems ('Hero and Leander' and 'The Plea of the Midsummer Fairies') in an effort to provide a greater feel of his variety. such a lot commentators have pointed to the effect of Keats on such events, yet shut exam unearths a fair better debt to Elizabethan and Metaphysical poets, whose occasionally playful deployment of the vanity struck a chord in his sensibility. while, the booklet offers Hood's comedian genius its due, providing distinctive bills of the deftness and panache of his light-hearted oeuvre. One bankruptcy examines his expedition into the mock-heroic mode (Odes and Addresses to nice People), and one other his reliance on that airiest of types, the capriccio (Whims and Oddities). The research concludes with an in depth exam of 'Miss Kilmansegg and Her necessary Leg,' exhibiting how Hood was once right here capable of inflect a jeu d'esprit with a superb Juvenalian ardour.
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Additional info for A Self-divided Poet: Form and Texture in the Verse of Thomas Hood
While anaphoraic parallelism patterns the lines, the rollicking feet strain against its rigour as the washing against its lines in turn. "). 40 —anticipates it and then cancels it: "Now all is dark—not a shirt's on a shrub" (21). "). Working in a similar way, a paradoxical syllepsis suggests that her children's nourishment can't really be distinguished from her poisonous washing agents ("And boils neither barley nor alkaline broth"), while their "foul faces" (they are weeping in hunger) correlate with the absence of "foul" laundry.
64 Shakespeare's image had plausibly suggested the lachrymation of a single eye; two that operate independently of each other can belong only to a grotesque toy. This grotesquerie extends into the next stanza, where, not content with having painted a head-and-shoulders portrait of his subject, Hood opts for an allegorical woodcut in the emblem book style. By doctoring the iconology a little, he manages to present Kitchiner as the image of Fortuna, who is more ordinarily blinded by her hair and who more usually rides a globe ("a swift, winged-footed figure of Chance, her eyes covered by her forelock, incites a youth to grasp her quickly as she passes before him on a rolling sphere"65).
Bridget's rosy fingers, made so by hot water, are also the fingers of the dawn goddess ("now Aurora, daughter of the dawn / With rosie lustre purpled o'er the lawn"35), and the reference to Aphrodite anadyomene, recalling Collins's "Sonnet" ("Thus issued from a teeming wave / The fabled queen of love"36), enhaloes her with spume. Someone whose "head is involved in an aërial mist" is bound to seem imposing and monumental, as much like Olympus as the gods who dwell on it. At the same time, though, puns engineer the displacement of oceanic by soapy foam, and Venus' pearly complexion by smears of pearl ashes and beads of sweat.