Word Like a Bell: John Keats, Music and the Romantic Poet

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Kent State University Press, 1992 - Literary Criticism - 218 pages
Music was supremely important to the Romantic poets, particularly to John Keats. In this first book-length study on the subject, John A. Minahan explores Keats's work in relation to the art of music.
Word Like a Bell considers Keats's major poems as well as his letters and minor verse. Writing in a jargon-free style, Minahan examines the relationship between the musical and literary manifestations of Romantic theory, and the connection between that theory and Keats's work. He then offers new insights into Keats's poetry and his era, among them a detailed explanation of why the "Great Odes" ought to be considered a single extended piece.
Also receiving extensive treatment are Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, whose ideas and creations illustrate how music influences every aspect of Romantic thought.
In his exploration of the relationship between different but related arts, Minahan both locates Romanticism in its historical and aesthetic context and expands the capabilities of literary criticism. He finds that music enables Romanticism to voice its fundamental concern about time and its passage, and shows us that an understanding of poetry's relation to music can enrich our appreciation of both arts while deepening our own experiences of time.
This interdisciplinary study will appeal to readers of poetry and literary criticism and to professional musicians who would increase their understanding of an age's art, songwriters interested in word/music relations, and poets who crave an extensive discussion of poetic technique and craft that uses music as a way to clarify such points.

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Word like a bell: John Keats, music and the romantic poet

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In this illuminating and groundbreaking study, Minahan explores Keats's poetry, and Romantic literary theory in general, in relation to music. He argues that analogies to music--most of his examples ... Read full review


The Varieties of Musical Experience
Words Music and Interpretation
The Romantic Uses of Sound

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