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A Note on Law and Lawlessness: Coventry Patmore and Two Women Poets--Eliza Keary and Alice Meynell.

[W]hat Poe supposes to be a spondee is virtually a dactyl... the words "done? Oh!" ... he scans as a spondee, but which is really a dactyl, "Oh!" I being a quaver preceded by a quaver rest.

J. J. Sylvester, The Laws of Verse (1870) (1)

The nine-syllable trochaics, in Tennyson's "Vision of Sin," would probably be regarded by prosodians as "hypercatalectic dimeters"; but [the end-line pause] indicates clearly enough that such verses are really trimeters.

Coventry Patmore, Essay on English Metrical Law (1857) (2)

When is a spondee a dactyl? When is a dimeter a trimeter? Despite the confident "really" invoked by both writers above, both of whom took the "law" of metrics as a central principle, the pedantic accuracy actually releases not only potential definitional latitude but latitudes of praxis. Both Eliza Keary and Alice Meynell came under the influence of Patmore and undoubtedly learned from him, but they also circumvented the prosodie "law" of his treatise on occasions, with important consequences.

Eliza Keary's long sixty-five-page epistolary poem "Christine and Mary. A Correspondence" (1874) (3) signals an acknowledgment to Patmore in the very first line:

Mary, sister, Mary of angels ... (4)

"Mary" was Patmore's prime example of accentual variation in English. For Patmore the acute accent is the dominant accent of English words, "But there is no 'acute' which is not liable to be converted into a 'grave' by grammatical position. In this question and answer,--'Shall Mary go?' 'No, not Mary, the first syllable of the word 'Mary' is in one case acute, and in the other grave; but in each case alike, the syllable is fully accented" (p.14). Keary inflects her two "Marys" with a slight difference of accent here (though one could quibble about this, is the first "Mary" "really" a grave, the second an acute, reversing Patmore's order?).

This first line is by way of a declaration of intent, a decision to write an English poem in a way wholly different from any other in the nineteenth century. Keary's first line is not simply a technical maneuver and not simply a local homage to Patmore. Her poem is written in the Icelandic meter Patmore valorized. It is an avowal that in writing her massive poem in the pattern of Old English alliterative verse she is opening a unique sonic world and a unique thematics. Paradoxically the "archaic" Anglo-Saxon meter, publicized by Patmore, enabled her to write a poem of modernity, a poem about love between two women, the betrayals of religion, scientific culture. "Christine and Mary" is a dialectical poem, a series of letters between two women, once lovers, having "been together bodily," who debate the severance between them because one, now Mary, once Theodora, converts to Catholicism to become a nun, while the other, an agnostic/atheist, sees this as a violent betrayal as she bitterly attacks Catholic beliefs and politics. Her anguish is matched by Mary's rhapsodic theology and erotics of belief. Keary has created a poem as experimental and innovative as any work by her contemporary Gerard Manley Hopkins. Perhaps also it is as creatively "eccentric" (the word Hopkins used to describe his poems) as any poem of his.

Patmore considered "the great Gothic alliterating metre" as one "of the most scientifically perfect metres ever invented" (p. 32). But there were larger reasons for his espousal of alliterative poetry, both immanent in Keary's poem too. Icelandic poetry addressed two problems raised at the very beginning of his treatise, originating as he thought in Hegel's critique of poetry written in the Christian era. The first is a cultural problem: with the increasing spiritualization of literature, a spiritualization that threatened to untether art from the material world with an idealist flight from the physical and corporeal elements of experience, meter acted as a brake on idealism by becoming the tangible and material embodiment of emotion. As Patmore's slightly naive formulation has it, "Art, indeed, must have a body as well as a soul" (p. 7). For him, meter was that body, and for this reason should "make its existence recognized" (p. 8). The sheer prosodie foregrounding of meter in Anglo-Saxon poetry, its rule-bound nature, meant that the functions of meter were fully exploited: we "feel" the "bonds of verse"--"exorbitances on the side of the law" (p. 8).

The second Hegelian problem concerned the nature of the pause or caesura. Hegel's belief that, with post Christian or "after-Christ" civilization ("Romantic" culture), an opposition between spiritual and corporeal life emerged in the very form of poetics, where spirituality was overvalued just as the incarnation was overvalued, turned on his reading of the caesura. Patmore wrote, "A complete and truly satisfactory metrical analysis of any passage even of classical verse, would include a much fuller consideration of the element of pause than has commonly been given to that subject... [for many critics] the various kinds of catalexis, and measurable caesural pause, appear rather as interruptions than subjects of metrical law" (p. 22). Here he was responding to Hegel's belief that the caesura was in crisis: it had become an invasive break in the poetic line rather than being integrated into it. For the real time of the subject itself in verse, Hegel thought, we have created a split culture where spirit and sensuous life, mental and somatic experience, are untethered, and the divisive break of the caesura is symptomatic of this fracture. (5) For Patmore, for whom pace is crucial to metrics rather than stress (more of this when we come to Alice Meynell's poetics), the pause was integral to metrics. AngloSaxon poetry was precisely "scientific" because the pause is essential to its alliterative structure. It is not an inessential rupture but a constitutive element of poetic form. Alliterative verse is built round the emphatic pause.

Patmore spent nearly eight pages of his treatise on alliterative verse. The intralineal pause was the axis on which the Anglo-Saxon line turned. "The general law of this metre is, that it shall consist of a series of verses [lines], each of which is divided, by a powerful caesura, into two sections or hemistichs. Each hemistich contains two accented syllables, and an indefinite number of unaccented ones; the accents being occasionally, though rarely, adjacent, and sometimes, though not less rarely, preceded, separated, or followed by as many as three syllables without accent.... In the first hemistich, the two accented syllables alliterate, and this alliteration is continued on to ... the first of the accented syllables in the second" (pp. 32-33). Patmore stresses that in modern poetry the density of Anglo-Saxon alliteration cannot be sustained: he allows that the hemistich can sometimes be split into two successive lines in modern poetry. The intensely consonantal character of English (noted by Arthur Hallam) means that this alliterative verse is truly accentual, but such poetry can, in modern times, avail itself of certain freedoms, "alliterating initial letters with others in the middle of words, or by employing similar consonantal sounds represented by different letters" (p. 32). Even vowels can alliterate, so long as the vowel series is different, an unwilling concession. Surprise is the key emotion of this verse, not longing: for rhyme, suspending meaning, making us wait and hope--"rhyme has been said to appeal to memory and hope"--is absolutely alien to alliterative verse (p. 31). Where Anglo-Saxon poets do use rhyme, it is inessential and unmeaningful. It is clear that for Patmore rhyme is an intrusive impurity in hemistichal verse.

Why should Keary have been drawn to an Anglo-Saxon model in her agonistic poem? The condensed verbal intensity and brevity of the hemistich can register shock and anguish in real time for both women: the pause enacts the immediacy of cognitive dissonance as both women confront the schism of their relationship. But these mimetic considerations are not the primary explanation for Keary's choice. Though Anglo-Saxon poetry was for Patmore the nearest analogy of the lost integration of Greek verse, in modernity such integration was an impossibility, Patmore understood. The purposive fragmentation of Keary's verse, dominated by the caesura, actually registers the cultural split both Hegel and Patmore recognized and which is thematized in the poem. Mary moves to transcendence, while Christine remains with a bitter materiality. Empirical analysis confronts idealist spirituality, Huxleyan science, high Catholic belief. Christine's deconstruction of Mary's totalizing loss of self in God, and her assertion that this is simply the ego's projection, is immediate:

Who will have all of us, wrongs our humanity ... ... You say, "Him and me," It should be "me" really "me," For 'tis this your bliss,

"I love my heart's love, call it Him, call Him mine." (p. 127)

The ictus falls forcefully on the alliterating "will" and "all," the latter corroborating sonically the last letters of "will." The caesura suspends the statement and then the predicate storms in, completing the sentence with renewed power--"wrongs our humanity," as "wrongs" alliterates with "will." There's a kind of back echo as "humanity" and "have" resonate with one another, foregrounding possession. "Who" and "wrongs," visually alliterating across the divide of the hemistich, create a kind of secondary interplay, asking about the agent of appropriation and possession. There's a force field of semantic, emotional, and logical energy here in this one condensed line, which demonstrates Keary's virtuosity and its unique linguistic music. There's a strangely awkward intensity and monosyllabic, foreshortened vehemence here that is quite new in the rhythms of nineteenth-century British poetry.

Though we can recognize Keary's verbal skill here as both virtuosic and idiosyncratic, the question remains to be asked: why did she need to use this form? Keary was, of course, familiar with Norse legend and poetry. She had edited a collection of Norse tales with her sister, Annie, The Heroes of Asgard: Tales from Scandinavian Mythology, in 1857, and clearly drew upon Scandinavian and Teutonic scholarship. (6) But her motive in reworking Old English form could not have been mere antiquarianism.

To understand her aesthetic choice it helps to consider how she obeyed and disobeyed, conformed to and flouted, Patmore's "laws" or "rules" for Anglo-Saxon verse. The very beginning of the poem, Christine's appalled response to Mary's betrayal and change of name, is an indicative passage:
   Mary, sister, Mary of angels,
   Theodora,--no, let the old name die
   That was yours, that is love's,
   Lie still,--it's asleep dear, Mary--
   And yet, do you think I forget,
   Don't grudge you even a little to Heaven,
   And you smiling, scoffing me,
   Calling you chosen of Him for His bride?
   But oh! shame, killing love with that name.
   He was tender once; was He tender,
   And is He cruel now?
   Laying low the heart's beat of love, ...
   Was He tender, was He weak, was He lone?
   And now this; and thou His?

This is in some ways an attentively academic response to Patmore's subtle version of the "laws" of Anglo-Saxon verse. In the second line, the second half of the hemistich picks up the "d" of Theodora and the "o" of "no" in "old" and "die," with the final ictus on "die" emphatically and despairingly negating the old proper name, abolishing a name that already had theological associations ("Theodora" means gift from God). Keary plays with many forms of alliteration: internal rhyme--"And yet, do you think I forget"--and repetition--"He was tender once: was He tender ...?" She splits the hemistich into successive lines--"And is He cruel now? / Laying low the heart's beat of love." She allows different vowels to alliterate--"But oh! shame, killing love with that name." She varies the number of syllables Patmore thought permissible as long as the two stresses appear on either side of the caesura. The caesura, however, even as it obeys this rule, shifts and repositions itself because the varied quotient of syllables in each line means that its break never falls in quite the same place in the line. It's an astonishingly innovative and modern response to the "old" laws, as the pacing of stress and pause mediates Christine's rage and sadness. As one reads, this form seems exactly the right medium for the metrical depiction of a schismatic break, as the caesura severs almost every line. Indeed, the break takes one further into this poem. The title describes the letters as "A Correspondence," but what emerges, consolidated by the caesura, is precisely non-correspondence. Alliteration matches and does not match, the two sides of the caesura striving to relate, two halves that were never a structural whole.

As this huge poem moves on, the extraordinary simulation of the oppositional structures of Anglo-Saxon verse seems particularly apposite: the caesura demarcates the breach and the power relations it constitutes. Christine sees the erotics of Mary's orgasmic absorption into Christ as blasphemous; Mary's violently reactionary and anti-democratic response to the Paris Commune (pp. 155-156) calls out Christine's understanding of liberty (p. 164); Mary's lyric of consummation, "Drunken with Deity," elicits Christine's acceptance of "nothingness" (p. 165).

Yet Keary violates Patmore's ban on rhyme in Anglo-Saxon verse and his strictures about its meaninglessness and unimportance if it does ever occur. Both women fall into rhyme, sometimes concurrently with the alliterative half line, so that two systems of prosody operate simultaneously, as if the complete incompatibility of two forms of life coexist.
   The day is full, O Love, and the hushed sea
   Murmurs of Thee.
   The air all aglow,
   Flushed to the overflow,
   Drunken with Deity;
   Drink Thy love, Love, back to Thyself,
   Light, Thine own light;
   Lord, lest the wanton night,
   Finding one delight
   Left, of one should defraud Thee. (Mary, p. 160)

This is Mary's quotation from the "white record" of a nun's rhapsody written on a cell wall, the climax of her argument with Christine. The argument is for an erotic consummation and circularity in which the Deity drinks the drunken religious feeling of the very passion he has created. The crucial injunction-- "Drink Thy love, Love, back to Thyself'--stands out as the only unrhymed alliterative hemistich in this rhyming passage.
   Death--what is this, to die?
   Spring follows spring;
   We do not weep at memory
   Of last April's blossoming;
   Sleep succeeds sleep, new rays
   Awake the hills, days crowd on days. (Christine, p. 171)

This is Christine's stoic acceptance of temporality and death, interestingly preserving, despite rhyme, the laconic brevity of the half line.

Why does Keary combine rhyme and hemistichic verse? Why this act of lawlessness by Patmore's standards? Rhyme aspires to match, to establish likeness in unlikeness. It may seem to be an attempt to surmount the rupture of the hemistich by establishing a counter prosody of union. Where the rift of the caesura divides, rhyme assuages. But this seems a little banal. Patmore does not spend much time on rhyme, even though his whole treatise is based on a taxonomy of three categories--alliterative, rhymed, and unrhymed verse. He must have known Hegel's critique of rhyme in post-Christ poetry, though he does not mention it. Rhyme "coquettes," flirts, Hegel thought, because it depends on concealing and revealing difference (the context is a culture of increasing material manipulation in the nineteenth century). Patmore instead glancingly refers to rhyme as the expression of "hope" and "memory" in contrast to the "surprise" of alliterative verse, as we have seen. One could supplement this with Simon Jarvis's Hegelian reading of rhyme (reading against Hegel's own critique) as that reflexive and cognitive act in which consciousness is made known and externalized in language. (7) Patmore's terms acknowledge this, for rhyming requires anticipation, expectation or "hope" as rhyme becomes potential, and "memory" when the rhyme has been consolidated by a verbal coupling. Rhyme is a form of recognition. Patmore's formulation surely encompasses and recognizes the awakening, the structure, of desire, where hope and memory belong together, are predicated on one another. Keary, I think, chose to hybridize her "Anglo-Saxon" poem with rhyme because it is a poem not only about the shock of fracture but about the passional forms longing takes--sexual, spiritual, intellectual. This use of rhyme is not expressive but analytical. Rhyme here signifies: it does not express. Keary's poem is an agonistic and a philosophical work, an analysis of the way a profound cultural moment and the passions come together.

Meynell's lawlessness relates to another area altogether of Patmore's metrical thinking, the variability of pause. Unlike Keary's great unread poem, Meynell's work has attracted attention from distinguished critics, most recently Meredith Martin and Yopie Prins. (8) Prins in particular charts Meynell's response to Patmore's metrical laws and to his own poetry meticulously. To simplify a subtle argument: Meynell developed a poetry of pauses in response to Patmore's spatial or "isochronous" reading of prosody, but saw these rather in relation to the periodicity of life itself, rather than the artefactual "bonds" of meter. In her densely imaged introduction to The Rhythm of Life and Other Essays (1896), she argued that life itself was metrical. "Periodicity rules.. . recurrence is sure.... [F]lux is equal to the reflux." Disease is periodic: the law of periodicity governs the cosmos and the body, "a sun's revolutions and the rhythmic pangs of maternity." (9) To avoid "unlawful recurrences," it seems, the poet has to be obedient, responsive, to these rhythmic movements, to these innate or natural bonds, rather than imposing them, as she thought Patmore's late odes sometimes did.

Prins also argues that Meynell responded to the late-century "spiritualization of literature" (p. 278) by consenting to its power, evolving a poetry of formal abstraction so that the metrical bar was not a restriction but, quite otherwise: "the performance of passion through these metrical bars" (p. 277). It is a response to the idealist cultural tendencies recognized by Patmore via Hegel. Meynell and Keary were both taken up with the same movement of modernity. But for Meynell it is the pause that is central to her poetics.

The "element of pause" was, we have seen, crucial for Patmore. It is pace and space for him that are the true metrical markers. "A simple series of isochronous intervals, marked by accents, is as natural to spoken language as an even pace is natural to walking" (p. 10). (10) The ictus is a "time-beater" (15) and serves to indicate temporal divisions in the line: it is comparable to the regular posts "in a chain railing" that mark "the end of one space, and the commencement of another" (p. 15). But the true art of the pause is in its variation. It can manifest itself intermedially as the caesura ("the verse cannot be rightly scanned without allowing for it" [p. 23]), and virtually as an implied cataleptic pause at the end or the beginning of a line. Indeed, the subtle pause does not coincide with the grammatical pause, and variation is the essence of its life, "the very life of metre": "Not only may metrical intervals differ thus from their nominal equality without destroying measure, but the marking of the measure by the recurrent ictus may be occasionally remitted, the position of the ictus altered, or its place supplied by a pause, without the least offence to a cultivated ear, which rather delights in, than objects to, such remission, inversion, or omission, when there is an emotional motive" (p. 22). In other words, the "law" of the pause lies in its flexibility.

In Later Poems (1901) published five years after Patmore's death, Meynell still appears as a loyal adherent of Patmore. (11) Prins quotes Meynell's discussion of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's scansion in which she affirms that women poets "are best heard 'pacing softly"' (p. 272), and indeed, Later Poems begins with "She walks--the lady of my delight--," a line three times repeated in "The Shepherdess," a softly pacing poem that is precisely about pacing softly. The following poem, "I am the Way," also returns to pacing--"The way that goes, my feet that stir." "Feet," surely in Meynell's work associated with the metrical life of recurrence, reappear in "November Blue," where the regular urban transformation of electric light at nightfall produces an uncanny complementary blue to the air--"it walks the street." The blue of heavenly transcendence recurs nightly in the city street. The walking blue and the pacing throng are in identity:
   Blue comes to earth, it walks the street,
   It dyes the wide air through;
   A mimic sky about their feet,
   The throng go crowned with blue.

Again, in "Unto Us a Son Is Given": "Sudden as sweet / Come the expected feet." The yearly, anticipated cyclical renewal of Christ's birth treads the earth, recalling Blake's feet of "ancient times." "Feet" for Meynell seem to intimate that "body" required by Patmore, that materiality that meter represents.

One can see "The Shepherdess" as the epitome of the softly pacing poem as the shepherdess walks and "roams" through landscape. Her roaming over "maternal hills and bright" and their antithetical "Dark valleys safe and deep," in the second stanza, beautifully metaphorizes the regular isochronous spatial contrast of ictus and pause--metre as landscape, hill and dale--and even recalls the "rhythmic pangs of maternity" through its epithet, "maternal." But even this poem has its surprises. The first line, occurring three times, regularizes the rhythm of its pacing. But it is slightly unorthodox. It has nine syllables, and, unless the final pause is counted as a missing syllable, it does not produce the regular "double bar" or paired feet that Patmore termed the "dipode" and affirmed as the "integer" of English poetry (p. 26). A medial caesura and an end-line pause break up this line: "She walks--the lady of my delight--." The varied pause is as Patmore would have it: the "filling up" (p. 27) of excess syllables in the slightly syncopated "lady of," where the ictus covers the two syllables of "lady" and not one (though in the same time as one, Patmore argued), is another move that Patmore endorsed. However, there is something slightly arbitrary about the adjustments that have to be made to make this line "right." These features contrast with the severe caesura that occurs in the middle of the highly regular third line--"Her flocks are thoughts. She keeps them white." The pause falls exactly between the two pairs of iambs. But its very regularity, and the definitively heavy break of the full stop, make this an unusually violent space. Meynell is affirming that her flocks are thoughts, her thoughts flocks, that this is a conceptual poem: thought has no material manifestation; the caesura itself, a blank space, a nonmaterial element of meter, takes the poem in the idealist direction that Hegel and Patmore recognized in modernity--thought is silent. Despite the strictness of its pacing, the poem affirms the freedom of its roaming. Much conspires to consolidate that freedom. The unorthodox lilt of the first line suggests that one can choose what pace, what saunter, to adopt. The poem in fact roams freely across eight- and six-syllable lines. Patmore was suspicious of the latter; he thought these limited (though the six-syllable line could on occasions be "sublime" (p. 27)), but they occur in this poem. The isochronous hills and valleys also suggest a zone that is both maternal and erotic.

I do not suggest that Meynell is at the mercy of conflictual impulses: far from it. The poem is rather a balancing, an enquiry, about the relationship of roaming and pacing, about regulation and freedom--about freedom within regulation, indeed. As such it is a supreme example of her art. But other poems are more restless in their metrics, the beautiful equanimity of the pausal lyricism broken by the wildness her daughter ascribed to Meynell. (12) I wonder if this wildness was the result of her engagement with a wider politics than in her earlier life, a frustration with resistant forces as suffrage, for example, preoccupied her more and more. Here are a few examples to end this discussion, where pauses are often violent, without the temperate rhythms we associate with Meynell. These are the endings of three poems:
   Access, approach,
   Art Thou, time, way, and wayfarer. ("I am the Way")

   The sentence, when these speak it, has no Nay.
   And she who slays is she who bears, who bears. ("Parentage")

   "Whose is the word?
   Is it I that spake? Is it thou? Is it I that heard?"
   "Thine earth was solitary; yet I found thee!"
   "Thy sky was pathless, but I caught, I bound thee,
   Thou visitant divine."
   "O thou my Voice, the word was thine."
   "Was thine." ("The Two Poets)

The final example approaches the terse staccato of Greek stichomythia. The internal breaks in these lines are also extreme. This is another example of the flagrant "interruptions" of the caesura that Hegel thought characteristic of modernity. It goes against Patmore's attempts to reintegrate the caesura into a subtle temporal "element of pause." If we ask why Meynell took the pause here to such extremes, an answer begins to emerge in the thematics of the stanza: sound, the first stanza had affirmed, emerged from the violent meeting of wind and beech tree. The final stanza asks, to whom does the utterance achieved by the interaction of silent beech and (Pentecostal?) wind belong? It is apparent, the first two lines of this stanza affirm, that even to ask that question the questioner has to perform an act of self-duplication, to be both subject and object of the sound, to be speaker and hearer, an act that necessitates a break. (The subject has to be cancelled in order for it to be reconstituted as object.) "Is it I that spake? Is it thou? Is it I that heard?" Indeed, as the following three lines suggest, the "I" is a mediated entity: it needs an "other" to affirm its being. Paradoxically it needs separation, a not-self, to be fully affirmed. The world was empty for the beech until the wind found it, gave it meaning; the sky was void, pathless for the wind, until the beech "bound" it, gave it boundaries, the shape of sound. Identity means separation. In the final two lines each answers the other with the claim that its "word" is the "Voice" of the other. But "Thine" and "mine" can only be entwined, as the two words are sonically entwined, if they simultaneously recognize their own and the other's separateness. The final line insists, "Was thine."

So breaks are constitutively necessary in the logic of mutual self-creation. Hence the caesurae here are emphatic in their acts of riven negation. Hence this poem is a philosophical poem as much as it is an expressive poem, enacting the mediation of expression itself.

Perhaps the logic of this poem is sufficient to explain Meynell's metrics here. One might also see this "lawless" stanza, though, as an act both of independence from Patmore and of a posthumous respect for him. Meynell would have known of Hegel's thought through Patmore, as we have seen: this poem looks very like a meditation on a Christian or theological reading of Hegel's account of self-consciousness and mediation in the Phenomenology. Self-consciousness is a double movement founded on self-duplication: "It is aware that it at once is, and is not, another consciousness. ... They recognize themselves as mutually recognizing one another." (13)

It isn't necessary, perhaps, to invoke Hegel here, particularly as Meynell denied knowing his work (like many people who did read him). But to do so usefully complicates a simple model of influence and subscription to the thought of a "master" thinker--the woman poet and her male mentor. It's clear that Keary and Meynell learned in complex ways from Patmore but did not regard him as a figure to whom subservience was necessary. They responded to him rationally and took what they needed from his thinking. There does not seem to be any anxiety of influence here. Meynell's case is particularly interesting. If we see her Hegelian patterns as a tribute to Patmore, they nevertheless contradict Patmore's "Hegelian" belief that the caesura should not be an "interruption." On the other hand, to explore Hegelian thinking, in a sense at least provisionally subscribing to his understanding of mediation, Meynell employs the very interruptive caesurae that he deprecated to designate the structural break created and required by mediation. The woman poet was never in statu pupillari to any tradition.


(1) J. J. Sylvester, The Laws of Verse (London: Longman's, Green, and Co. 1870), p. 68.

(2) Coventry Patmore, Essay on English Metrical Law (1857), ed. Mary Augustine Roth, rev. ed. (1886; rprt. Washington, D.C.: The Catholic Univ. of America Press, 1961), p. 23.

(3) "Christine and Mary. A Correspondence," Little SeaUSkin and Other Poems (London: George Bell and Sons, 1874), pp. 123-185.

(4) "Christine and Mary," p. 123. There is no line numbering in the poem: quotation is given by page number.

(5) See my "Hegel: The Time of Rhythm, The Time of Rhyme," ThinkingVerse 1 (2011), pp. 124-136. Hegel believed that rhyme was inherently erotic since it had to do with revealing and concealing relations. It was a flirtatious form that superseded classical quantitative verse and signified an alienated temporality.

(6) See the admirable entry on Eliza Keary by Naomi Hetherington in the Dictionary of Literary Biography (DLB 240), pp. 113-117.

(7) Rhyme, for Jarvis, is a form of thinking. Simon Jarvis, 'Musical Thinking: Hegel and the Phenomenology of Prosody,' Paragraph 28, no. 2 (2008): 57-71.

(8) Yopie Prins, "Patmore's Law, Meynell's Rhythm," The Firi'de'Siecle Poem: English Literary Culture and the 1890s, ed. Joseph Bristow (Athens: Ohio Univ. Press, 2005), pp. 261-284: Meredith Martin, "Alice Meynell, Again and Again," The Oxford Handbook of Victorian Poetry, ed. Matthew Beavis (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2013), pp. 579-590.

(9) Alice Meynell, The Rhythm of Life and Other Essays (London: Elkin Mathews and John Lane, 1893), pp. 1, 3, 6.

(10) For an excellent account of Patmore and isochronous verse in relation to the Spasmodics, see Jason R. Rudy, Electric Meters: Victorian Physiological Poetics (Athens: Ohio Univ. Press, 2009), pp. 112-127.

(11) Alice Meynell, Later Poems (London: John Lane, 1901).

(12) Viola Meynell, Alice Meynell: A Memoir (London: Jonathan Cape, 1929), p. 202.

(13) G. W. F. Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit, trans. A. V. Miller, ed. J. N. Findlay (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977), p. 112 (para. 184).
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Author:Armstrong, Isobel
Publication:Victorian Poetry
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 22, 2019
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