Romantic Poetry and Victorian Nonsense Poetry: Some Directions of Travel.

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    • Abstract:
      This essay explores links between Victorian nonsense poetry and poetry of the Romantic period, with a focus on narratives of quest, voyaging and escape. It discusses brief instances from various writers of the two periods and moves on to a more developed comparison between Wordsworth and Edward Lear, centring on 'The Blind Highland Boy'. The comparison between periods leads to an argument that self-critique and scepticism were quite robustly in place from the start in the Romantic period, and that obstacles to sense could at times be experienced not just as perplexity but as enjoyment shared with an audience. It also points to a further appreciation of some of the less canonical works by the most canonical writers, and suggests a tradition in which Romantic aspiration was often coolly linked to a sense of absurdity. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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