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Form and Faith in Victorian Poetry and Religion$
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Kirstie Blair

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199644506

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199644506.001.0001

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Definite Forms and Catholic Poetics

Definite Forms and Catholic Poetics

(p.197) 6 Definite Forms and Catholic Poetics
Form and Faith in Victorian Poetry and Religion

Kirstie Blair

Oxford University Press

The concluding chapter turns to Catholic poetics, interpreted broadly to include both Anglo-Catholics and Roman Catholics. It returns to the opening chapter in suggesting how Catholic poets in the post-Tractarian decades adopted and adapted Tractarian ideals, and suggests that Catholic poems were notable for their inclusion of ritual, repetitive elements and their deliberate rejection of aesthetic excitement in favour of reserve. The chapter also comments on the importance of material culture in shaping readings of these poems, in terms of book design and its implications. The second part of the chapter focuses on Christina Rossetti and her involvement with one particular Anglo-Catholic collection, Lyra Eucharistica. The final section turns to the devotional sonnet, and concludes with a brief discussion of Gerard Manley Hopkins and his reinterpretations of form and faith through the sonnet.

Keywords:   Catholic, ritual, ritualism, Eucharist, Hopkins, Rossetti, sonnet

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