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February 19, 2007

The Formal Keats

Right at the end of the essay...when Kent notes "the lifeless desolation of art uncovered by the ode's fourth stanza is thus already implied by the grammatical and rhetorical elements of the third stanza and, in particular, by its dependent quality."

I don't think I've ever heard or read a better statement of formalism than this. The entire essay is summed up in this sentence, in which is explains how the third stanza, through grammatical and rhetorical structure, sets up the fourth. The fourth is then dependent on the third because of the aforementioned reasons. The text is the context, and from studying its devices we can understand the work.

On a more personal note: Dr. Jerz - why didn't you give us at least one of these last week? These have been enjoyable.

Posted by KevinMcGinnis at February 19, 2007 11:43 PM


I agree with the dependency on the third stanza because it feels like there is a buildup to the end of the poem, (Even though all of the stanzas seem to question eternal life). I really am still struggling with the formalist criticism, but Kent's essay really helped me understand an example of what a formalist criticism consists of.

Posted by: Jason Pugh at February 21, 2007 5:24 PM

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