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Poetry of Opposition and RevolutionDryden to Wordsworth$
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Howard Erskine-Hill

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198121770

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198121770.001.0001

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(p.250) Epilogue
Poetry of Opposition and Revolution

Howard Erskine-Hill

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents some concluding thoughts. This book's aim was not aimed to explore the pure state poem, but rather to explore those more complex works in which political moments, aspects, and structures are nevertheless integral to their aesthetic achievement. It considers how poetry sees past and future in relation to each other. Perhaps the most breathtaking poetic coup of The Prelude is its repetition of the line: ‘We beat with thundering hoofs the level sand’, after the news of the death of Robespierre, which was first used eight books earlier as the last line of the narrative of the visit to the ruined abbey in the Vale of Nightshade. This is a masterstroke in the art of memory, connecting the potential politics of personal recollection with a song of political experience.

Keywords:   poetry, politics, The Prelude, past, future

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