This chapter takes a look at the abiding aesthetic concerns of Victorian-age poetry and poetics. Are the ancients still relevant to modern poets and readers? What is the purpose of poetry? How should poetry manage subjective and emotive experience? These are some of the questions that are raised regarding Victorian prosody, questions which shaped George Meredith's poetry. The chapter thus contains excerpts that review the poetry of the period in terms of their composition and poetics. It is noted that the high points of early Victorian criticism are centered on the analyses of the poetry of Lord Tennyson, John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and William Wordsworth. Thus the chapter makes use of several excerpts and reviews to uncover the purpose and relevance of modern poetry.
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