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The Playwrights Forum > Critic's Corner > Reviews and Critiques > Has the Social Role of Poetry Changed since Shelley?

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Has the Social Role of Poetry Changed since Shelley?  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Wed Nov 19th, 2014 09:16 pm
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Article:


http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/23/books/review/how-has-the-social-role-of-poetry-changed-since-shelley.html?mabReward=RI%3A8&action=click&pgtype=Homepage®ion=CColumn&module=Recommendation&src=rechp&WT.nav=RecEngine

FROM THE ARTICLE:

Perhaps Shelley had to insist so grandiosely on the poet’s wisdom because he recognized that, in fact, no one was listening. He may have believed that the poets of his time, whom we now call the Romantics — Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, himself — were some of the best England had produced; and posterity may share his judgment.

But when he wrote, these very poets were derided by Britain’s critical establishment as foolish and eccentric, if not actively wicked and subversive. Indeed, Shelley’s essay was originally written as a rebuttal to his friend Thomas Love Peacock, who had claimed in “The Four Ages of Poetry” that the progressive 19th century was a time inherently hostile to poetry. Poets like the Romantics, Peacock wrote, were merely “wallowing in the rubbish of departed ignorance, and raking up the ashes of dead savages to find gewgaws and rattles for the grown babies of the age.”


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