By Geoffrey N. Leech
Seeks to illustrate that the examine of English poetry is enriched through the insights of contemporary linguistic research, and that linguistic and demanding disciplines usually are not separate yet complementary. studying quite a lot of poetry, Professor Leech considers many facets of poetic variety, together with the language of previous and current, artistic language, poetic licence, repetition, sound, metre, context and ambiguity.
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Additional info for A Linguistic Guide to English Poetry (English Language Series)
One of the most important of these 'ravishing' allurements is of course a secure 39 40 Shakespeare and the English Renaissance Sonnet sense of hierarchical order in which they occupy the topmost position in the social scale, under the monarch. This is a direct result of their concern with social rank, exacerbated by a new nervousness in response to social mobility, both upwards and downwards. This situation produces poetic theories that draw on Platonic ideas in order to produce a general model to accord with the need for order in these terms.
This sonnet has all the usual ingredients: eyes, darkness and light, summer and winter, the persona's anguish at the lady's unapproachability, and the convention of his serving the woman as a feudal superior. But I would argue that much more is going on. The capacity of the cornet to 'govern' the poet's sight and the loss of the woman's eyes grounded in blackness emphasises material effects. 24 Any power that may be accorded the woman because of her position of feudal superiority is limited to the body, depoliticising her assumed superiority.
This irruption of the material into the specular economy of the ideal does not accord with a possible view of the poem that privileges unity of meaning. Desire is materialised in the woman's body, so that already in this early sonnet the relationship between the ideal and the material is not an easy one. It seems to me that this dynamic is what drives so many sonnets, as the poetic persona recuperates the dangers posed by the physicality of love for a hierarchical discourse. There are other sonnets by Surrey which represent even more striking departures from the assumed constraints imposed by the tradition.