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Showing posts from May, 2015

Research Diary 22/5

Well, it's finished: sort of. Worked inexpertly around marking, I know have a rough 9000 word draft of my Wordsworth chapter, minus one section on later poetry (post-1805 revisions to The Prelude, and The Excursion) which can be bolted on later.

In short, I'm trying to analyse prayer and Wordsworth. Of course, there's plenty on Wordsworth's 'religion' (or otherwise) from Natural Supernaturalism to more recent books by Martin Priestman, William Ulmer and Robert Ryan (among others). But given Wordsworth is perhaps the Romantic most identified with a determining first-person voice, it is unusual that only Lori Branch has really worked through the motif of prayer. Wordsworth is also interesting for me because the monograph aims to trace experimentations with and re-imaginings of prayer, in poetry, with the waning of eighteenth-century 'rational' religion. Whilst two of my authors (Cowper and Coleridge) very much make Christian reinventions and three others …

Research Diary 7/5

Well, if the last two weeks have exemplified anything about research, it's that life frequently gets in the way. Without going into too much detail, I haven't really had time to do anything substantial, but I have been able to read bits and pieces of my Wordsworth sitting next to a hospital bed, as well as having plenty of time to think as we wait for various medical staff at the (truly excellent) RD&E. I also managed to spend an hour looking through the Wordsworth concordance, which is always a treat (usually for the words adjacent to the words you are looking for...like 'goat').

In fact, in a strange way, it's been quite productive to have space to reflect. One thing I've tried to do is think about poems that can support my reading of The Prelude: things like the curious prayer at the end of 'Tintern Abbey', but also more obscure poems like 'Ode to Duty', and the way that it might relate to pantheistic apostrophes elsewhere in Wordsworth…