Leigh Hunt

 

 

Young Poets.

 

IN sitting down to this subject, we happen to be restricted by time to a much shorter notice than we could wish: but we mean to take it up again shortly. Many of our readers however have perhaps observed for themselves, that there has been a new school of poetry rising of late, which promises to extinguish the French one that has prevailed among us since the time of Charles the 2d. It began with something excessive, like most revolutions, but this gradually wore away; and an evident aspiration after real nature and original fancy remained, which called to mind the finer times of the English Muse. In fact it is wrong to call it a new school, and still more so to represent it as one of innovation, it's only object being to restore the same love of Nature, and of thinking instead of mere talking, which formerly rendered us real poets, and not merely versifying wits, and bead-rollers of couplets.

We were delighted to see the departure of the old school acknowledged in the number of the Edinburgh Review just published, – a candour the more generous and spirited, inasmuch as that work has hitherto been the greatest surviving ornament of the same school in prose and criticism, as it is now destined, we trust, to be still the leader in the new.

We also find the same delight at the third canto of Lord Byron's Child Harolde, in which, to our conceptions at least, he has fairly renounced a certain leaven of the French style, and taken his place where we always said he would be found, – among the poets who have a real feeling for numbers, and who go directly to Nature for inspiration. But more of this poem in our next. *

The object of the present article is merely to notice three young writers, who appear to us to promise a considerable addition of strength to the new school. Of the first who came before us, we have, it is true, yet seen only one or two specimens, and these were no sooner sent us than we unfortunately mislaid them; but we shall procure what he has published, and if the rest answer to what we have seen, we shall have no hesitation in announcing him for a very striking and original thinker. His name is PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY, and he is the author of a poetical work entitled Alastor, or the Spirit of Solitude.

The next with whose name we became acquainted, was John Henry Reynolds, author of a tale called Safie, written, we believe, in imitation of Lord Byron, and more lately of a small set of poems published by Taylor and Hessey, the principal of which is called the Naiad. It opens thus: –

The gold sun went into the west,
And soft airs sang him to his rest;
And yellow leaves all loose and dry,
Play'd on the branches listlessly:
The sky wax'd palely blue, and high
A cloud seem'd touch'd upon the sky –
A spot of cloud, – blue, thin, and still,
And silence bask'd on vale and hill.
  'Twas autumn-tide, – the eve was sweet,
     As moral eye hath e'er beholden;
  The grass look'd warm with sunny heat, –
  Perchance some fairy's glowing feet
     Had lightly touch'd, – and left it golden:
A flower or two were shining yet;
The star of the daisy had not yet set, –
It shone from the turf to greet the air,
Which tenderly came breathing there:
And in a brook which lov'd to fret
  O'er yellow sand and pebble blue,
  The lily of the silvery hue
All freshly dwellt, with white leaves wet.
Away the sparkling water play'd,
  Through bending grass, and blessed flower;
  Light, and delight seem'd all its dower:
Away in merriment it stray'd, –
  Singing, and bearing, hour after hour,
Pale, lovely splendour to the shade.

We shall give another extract or two in a future number. The author's style is too artificial, though he is evidently an admirer of Mr. Wordsworth. Like all young poets too, properly so called, his love of detail is too over-wrought and indiscriminate; but still he is a young poet, and only wants a still closer attention to things as opposed to the seduction of words, to realize all that he promises. His nature seems very true and amiable.

The last of these young aspirants whom we have met with, and who promise to help the new school to revive Nature and

"To put a spirit of youth in every thing," –

is, we believe, the youngest of them all, and just of age. His name is JOHN KEATS. He has not yet published any thing except in a newspaper; but a set of his manuscripts was handed us the other day, and fairly surprised us with the truth of their ambition, and ardent grappling with Nature. In the following Sonnet there is one incorrect rhyme, which might be easily altered, but which shall serve in the mean time as a peace-offering to the rhyming critics. The rest of the composition, with the exception of a little vagueness in calling the regions of poetry "the realms of gold," we do not hesitate to pronounce excellent, especially the last six lines. The word swims is complete; and the whole conclusion is equally powerful and quiet: –

 

    ON FIRST LOOKING INTO CHAPMAN'S HOMER.

MUCH have I travel'd in the realms of Gold,
  And many goodly States and Kingdoms seen;
  Round many western Islands have I been,
Which Bards in fealty to Apollo hold;
But of one wide expanse had I been told,
  That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne;
  Yet could I never judge what men could mean,
Till I heard CHAPMAN speak out loud and bold.
[762] Then felt I like some watcher of the skies,
  When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout CORTEZ, when with eagle eyes
  He stared at the Pacific, – and all his men
Looked at each other with a wild surmise, –
  Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

Oct. 1816.                                           JOHN KEATS.

We have spoken with the less scruple of these poetical promises, because we really are not in the habit of lavishing praises and announcements, and because we have no fear of any pettier vanity on the part of young men, who promise to understand human nature so well.

 

 

[Fußnote, S. 761]

* By the way, we are authorised to mention, that the person in Cheapside who announces some new publications by his Lordship, and says he has given five hundred guineas for them, has no warrant whatsoever for so stating. We are sorry to hurt the man's sale, as far as some other booksellers are concerned, who are just as money-getting and impudent in different ways; but truth must be told of one, as it will also be told of others. – (Since writing this note, we find the business noticed in Chancery, and some of the verses quoted, which will certainly satisfy the public that the Noble Poet was not the author.)   zurück

 

 

 

 

Erstdruck und Druckvorlage

The Examiner.
1816, Nr. 466, 2. Dezember, S. 761-762.
URL: http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/006056914

Die Textwiedergabe erfolgt nach dem ersten Druck (Editionsrichtlinien).

 

 

Zeitschriften-Repertorium

 

Kommentierte Ausgaben

 

 

Literatur

Abrams, M. H.: Spiegel und Lampe. Romantische Theorie und die Tradition der Kritik. München 1978 (= Theorie und Geschichte der Literatur und der schönen Künste, 42).

Blunden, Edmund Ch.: Leigh Hunt's "Examiner" Examined. London u.a. 1928.

Brown, Marshall (Hrsg.): Romanticism. Cambridge u.a. 2000 (= The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism. Bd. 5).

Burwick, Frederick: Romanticism: Keywords. Malden, MA u.a. 2015.

Chai, Leon: Romantic Theory. Forms of Reflexivity in the Revolutionary Era. Baltimore, Md. 2006.

Chandler, James u.a. (Hrsg.): The Cambridge Companion to British Romantic Poetry. Cambridge 2008.

Cox, Jeffrey N.: Poetry and Politics in the Cockney School. Keats, Shelley, Hunt and their Circle. Cambridge 1998.

Franklin, Caroline (Hrsg.): British Romantic Poets. 6 Bde. London u.a. 1998 (= The Wellesley Series IV).

Grigely, Joseph C.: Leigh Hunt and the Examiner Review of Keats' Poems, 1817. In: Keats-Shelley Journal 33 (1984), S. 30-37.

Hay, Daisy: Young Romantics. The Shelleys, Byron, and Other Tangled Lives. London 2010.

Higgins, David: Romantic Genius and the Literary Magazine. Biography, celebrity, politics. London 2005.

Hönnighausen, Lothar: Grundprobleme der englischen Literaturtheorie des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts. Darmstadt 1977 (= Erträge der Forschung, 71).

Hoffmeister, Gerhart: Deutsche und europäische Romantik. 2. Aufl. Stuttgart 1990 (= Sammlung Metzler, 170).

Holden, Anthony: The Wit in the Dungeon. A Life of Leigh Hunt. London 2005.



Hunt, Leigh: The Feast of the Poets, With Notes, and Other Pieces in Verse. London: J. Cawthorn 1814.
URL: https://archive.org/details/feastpoetswithn02huntgoog
URL: http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/001421821

Hunt, Leigh: Young Poets. In: The Examiner. 1816, Nr. 466, 2. Dezember, S. 761-762.
URL: http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/006056914

Hunt, Leigh: Foliage; Or, Poems Original and Translated. London: C. and J. Ollier 1818.
S. 8-39: Preface.
URL: https://archive.org/details/foliageorpoemso00huntgoog
URL: http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/008588044

Hunt, Leigh: The Poetical Works. London: E. Moxon 1832.
S. V-LVIII: Preface.
URL: https://archive.org/details/poeticalworksofl00huntrich
URL: http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/006677990

Hunt, Leigh: Imagination and Fancy; or Selections from the English Poets. London: Smith, Elder 1844.
S. 1-70: An Answer to the Question "What is Poetry?", Including Remarks on Versification.
URL: https://archive.org/details/imaginationfancy00huntuoft

Hunt, Leigh: The Selected Writings. Hrsg. von Robert Morrison u.a. 6 Bde. London: Pickering and Chatto 2003.



Kucich, Greg: Keats, Shelley, Byron, and the Hunt circle. In: The Cambridge Companion to English Literature 1740 – 1830. Hrsg. von Thomas Keymer u.a. Cambridge, England 2004, S. 263-279.

Lobsien, Eckhard: Englische Poetik 1650 bis 1950. Feldstruktur und Transformation. Würzburg 2016.

Mahoney, Charles (Hrsg.): A Companion to Romantic Poetry. Oxford u.a. 2011.

Olsen, Flemming: Leigh Hunt and What is poetry?. Romanticism and the Purpose of Poetry. Brighton 2011.

O'Neill, Michael (Hrsg.): The Cambridge History of English Poetry. Cambridge u.a. 2010.

Peter, Klaus: Der spekulative Anspruch. Die deutsche Romantik im Unterschied zur französischen und englischen. In: Jahrbuch des Freien Deutschen Hochstifts 1985, S. 101-150.

Reiman, Donald H. (Hrsg.): The Romantics Reviewed. Contemporary Reviews of British Romantic Writers. 9 Bde. New York 1972.

Roe, Nicholas: John Keats and the Culture of Dissent. Oxford 1997.

Roe, Nicholas (Hrsg.): Leigh Hunt. Life, Poetics, Politics. London u.a. 2003.

Rudnick, Hans-Heinrich (Hrsg.): Englische Literaturtheorie des 19. Jahrhunderts. Texte von Blake bis Yeats. Stuttgart 1979 (= Universal-Bibliothek, 9947).

Storey, Mark: The Problem of Poetry in the Romantic Period. Basingstoke u.a. 2000.

Warren, Alba H.: English Poetic Theory 1825 – 1865. London 1966 (= Princeton Studies in English, 29).

Wu, Duncan: Keats and the "Cockney School". In: The Cambridge Companion to Keats. Hrsg. von Susan J. Wolfson. Cambridge 2001, S. 37-52.

 

 

Edition
Lyriktheorie » R. Brandmeyer