By Richard Bradford
This introductory booklet takes the reader via literary heritage from the Renaissance to Postmodernism, and considers person texts as paradigms which could either mirror and unsettle their broader linguistic and cultural contexts. Richard Bradford presents distinct readings of person texts which emphasize their relation to literary heritage and broader socio-cultural contexts, and which have in mind advancements in structuralism and postmodernism. Texts contain poems by way of Donne, Herbert, Marvell, Milton, Pope, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Blake, Keats, Hopkins, Browning, Pound, Eliot, Carlos Williams, Auden, Larkin and Geoffrey Hill.
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Additional resources for A Linguistic History of English Poetry (Interface)
That in the captain’s but a choleric word Which in the soldier is flat blasphemy. (Aside to Isabella) Art advis’d o’ that? More on’t. Why do you put these sayings upon me? Because authority, though it err like others Hath yet a kind of medicine in itself That skins vice o’ the top. Go to your bosom; Knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know. (126–37) 34 A LINGUISTIC HISTORY OF ENGLISH POETRY Lucio speaks in unpoetic prose while the exchanges between Isabella and Angelo take place in blank verse.
If you listen to the passage as a whole you will find that Isabella is struggling to reinstall herself within the self-contained circuit of addresseraddressee and their shared poetic code. Here the Graves and Riding passage is particularly relevant because Isabella and Angelo attempt to address ‘the claims of society’ within the ‘set pattern’ of verse while Lucio’s prose interjections are indeed prompted by ‘the claims of the individual’. The question we should now ask is of whether there is an intrinsic element of poetic and non-poetic structures that effectively determines their situational context or the purpose of their message?
More on’t. Why do you put these sayings upon me? Because authority, though it err like others Hath yet a kind of medicine in itself That skins vice o’ the top. Go to your bosom; Knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know. (126–37) 34 A LINGUISTIC HISTORY OF ENGLISH POETRY Lucio speaks in unpoetic prose while the exchanges between Isabella and Angelo take place in blank verse. To return to Jakobson’s model it could be claimed that the related functions of contact and code effectively determine the reception and outcome of the message.