AUTHOR: OKOYE CHIKE
FROM: AWKA JOURNAL OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERARY STUDIES (AJELLS) VOL. 2
DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE, NNAMDIAZIKIWE UNIVERSITY, AWKA
The proceedings and arguments of Samuel T. Coleridge on the form and imagination concerni poems in his ‘Biographia Literaria’ as explained and discussed by Daiches in ‘Critical Approaches to Literature’, will prove enlightening in this treatise. The tendency to lay emphases on language (diction) as a differentiating taxonomic factor might appear quite quashed because most of the ‘genres’ (poetry, prose and drama) make a similar use of language in confusing combinations and applications reflective in certain descriptions (‘Prosaic poetry’, ‘Poetic drama,’ ‘Poetic prose’, etc) as to make language a weak distinguishing feature. The compressed ‘noble’ use of words, erstwhile an important factor may not in actuality hold a lot of water when put to real test. For example, a generality of Shakespeare’s dramas are written in poetic verse and yet remain drama. Does this then mean that the superficial graphological structures of acts, scenes and dialogue become the boundaries between drama and poetry? Definitely not quite; especially when one puts into consideration for illustration, the poetry of Robert Browning (My Last Duchess) in which a certain kind of dialogue is characteristically inherent. Or even the characterized presentations of characters in Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’where Satan, Belial and others speak in a kind of dialogue? A more contemporary scenario applies when one considers the poetic diction easily found in most modern stream-of-consciousness novels where language is used to present ideas of characters flowing at the pre-speech level; strikingly reminiscent of Sartre’s postulations that poetry is directly visceral to the soul and is most suitable to its baring. The powers of poetic diction are then applied to prosaic form thereby making each genre more or less the other; and ultimately befuddling taxonomies further.
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Tags: Biographia Literaria, Diction, Genres, Industrialization, Literary Theory, Literature-Evolutionary Issues, Modern World, Mysticism, Poet, Poetry, Prose, Romantic Period., Samuel Coleridge, Shakespeare’s Dramas, Victorian Era