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Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837–1909)

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Poet Algernon Charles Swinburne was born April 5, 1837 in Grosvenor Place, London, but spent most of his boyhood on the Isle of Wight, where both his parents and grandparents had homes. He was educated at Eton and Oxford University but was expelled from Oxford before he graduated. Although some of visa mer his work had already appeared in periodicals, Atalanta in Calydon was the first poem to come out under his name and was received enthusiastically. "Laus Veneris" and Poems and Ballads, with their sexually charged passages, were attacked all the more violently as a result. Swinburne's meeting in 1867 with his long-time hero Mazzini, led to the more political Songs before Sunrise. In 1879, with Swinburne nearly dead from alcoholism and dissolution, his legal advisor Theodore Watts-Dunton took him in, and was successful in getting him to adopt a healthier style of life. Swinburne lived the rest of his days at Watts-Dunton's house outside London. He saw less and less of his old friends, but his growing deafness accounts for some of his decreased sociability. He died of influenza in 1909. (Bowker Author Biography) visa färre
Foto taget av: Courtesy of the NYPL Digital Gallery (image use requires permission from the New York Public Library)

Verk av Algernon Charles Swinburne

Poems (1905) 67 exemplar
Selected Poems (1950) 61 exemplar
Major Poems and Selected Prose (2004) 51 exemplar
Poems and ballads (1873) 47 exemplar
Swinburne: The Penguin Poets (1961) 35 exemplar
Songs Before Sunrise (1888) 34 exemplar
Lesbia Brandon (1952) 31 exemplar
Poems & Ballads (First Series) (1866) 26 exemplar
Selected poetry and prose (1968) 24 exemplar
Tristram of Lyonesse (1917) 17 exemplar
A Study of Shakespeare (1918) 16 exemplar
Erechtheus: a tragedy (1876) 15 exemplar
Laus Veneris (1866) 13 exemplar
Poems and prose (1940) 12 exemplar
Choice of Verse (1973) 12 exemplar
The Springtide of Life (1918) 12 exemplar
The Age of Shakespeare (1908) 10 exemplar
Astrophel and Other Poems (1894) 10 exemplar
Chastelard, a tragedy (2011) 9 exemplar
Studies in song (1880) 8 exemplar
Swinburne, a selection (1960) 7 exemplar
A Century of Roundels (2011) 7 exemplar
Selected verse (2015) 7 exemplar
Dolores (1916) 6 exemplar
The Tale of Balen (2011) 6 exemplar
The Heptalogia (2012) 5 exemplar
Songs of Two Nations (1875) 5 exemplar
Algernon Charles Swinburne (2017) 5 exemplar
The Duke Of Gandia (2004) 4 exemplar
Swinburne's Poems 4 exemplar
Locrine: a tragedy (2008) 4 exemplar
A Dark Month (2010) 4 exemplar
Collected Poetical Works (1927) 4 exemplar
UNDER THE MICROSCOPE. (1899) 4 exemplar
Essays and studies (1875) 4 exemplar
A study of Victor Hugo (1970) 3 exemplar
Two Nations (2012) 3 exemplar
The Posthumous Poems (1917) 3 exemplar
Songs of the springtides (2008) 3 exemplar
Charles Dickens (1913) 3 exemplar
The Sisters: A Tragedy (1892) 3 exemplar
The Best of Swinburne (1937) 3 exemplar
Garden of Proserpine (1990) 2 exemplar
Shelley 2 exemplar
POEMAS (Swinburne) 2 exemplar
Three Plays by Shakespeare (1909) 2 exemplar
Pasiphae. A Poem (1950) 2 exemplar
A Song of Italy 2 exemplar
A note on Charlotte Brontë (1970) 2 exemplar
Tragedies 2 exemplar
Shakespeare (1909) 2 exemplar
Anactoria (1989) 1 exemplar
White Butterflies 1 exemplar
Poetry 1 exemplar
Hymn to Proserpine 1 exemplar
Swinburne 1 exemplar
Poèmes choisis (1990) 1 exemplar
Letters: 1877-82 v. 4 (1960) 1 exemplar
Swinburne 1 exemplar
Dikter i urval 1 exemplar
Letters: 1875-77 v. 3 (1960) 1 exemplar
Letters: 1890-1909 v. 6 (1962) 1 exemplar
Letters: 1883-90 v. 5 (1962) 1 exemplar
Letters 1 exemplar
Siena 1 exemplar
Dead love 1 exemplar
Lyrical poems 1 exemplar
The Queen Mother 1 exemplar
Queen Yseult 1 exemplar
Swinburne's Dramas 1 exemplar
Works Volume 3 (2015) 1 exemplar
Poems-Poesie (1990) 1 exemplar
Miscellanies (2011) 1 exemplar
The brothers 1 exemplar

Associerade verk

Shakespeares samlade verk (1589) — Bidragsgivare, vissa utgåvor31,967 exemplar
Ringaren i Notre-Dame (1831) — Appreciation, vissa utgåvor14,286 exemplar
The Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thousand and One Nights (2001) — Bidragsgivare, vissa utgåvor1,802 exemplar
The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms (2000) — Bidragsgivare — 1,278 exemplar
The Cloister and the Hearth (1861) — Inledning, vissa utgåvor730 exemplar
English Poetry, Volume III: From Tennyson to Whitman (1909) — Bidragsgivare — 623 exemplar
A Pocket Book of Modern Verse (1954) — Bidragsgivare, vissa utgåvor449 exemplar
In the Nursery (1932) — Bidragsgivare — 292 exemplar
The Literary Cat (1977) — Bidragsgivare — 240 exemplar
The Penguin Book of Homosexual Verse (1983) — Bidragsgivare — 237 exemplar
Ben Jonson and the Cavalier Poets [Norton Critical Edition] (1975) — Bidragsgivare — 229 exemplar
Poems Bewitched and Haunted (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets) (2005) — Bidragsgivare — 195 exemplar
The Faber Book of Beasts (1997) — Bidragsgivare — 141 exemplar
The Standard Book of British and American Verse (1932) — Bidragsgivare — 116 exemplar
The Dedalus Book of Decadence (1990) — Bidragsgivare — 98 exemplar
Byron's Poetry and Prose [Norton Critical Edition] (2009) — Bidragsgivare — 96 exemplar
Storytelling and Other Poems (1949) — Bidragsgivare — 91 exemplar
Empire Writing: An Anthology of Colonial Literature 1870-1918 (1998) — Bidragsgivare — 84 exemplar
A Book of Narrative Verse (1930) — Bidragsgivare — 64 exemplar
The Second Dedalus Book of Decadence the Black Feast (1992) — Bidragsgivare — 50 exemplar
The Works of Robert Herrick: The Hesperides and Noble Numbers. 2 Volumes (1891) — Inledning, vissa utgåvor35 exemplar
Modern Arthurian Literature (1992) — Bidragsgivare — 31 exemplar
The Dedalus Book of Femmes Fatales (1992) — Bidragsgivare — 24 exemplar
The Broadview Anthology of Victorian Short Stories (2004) — Bidragsgivare — 20 exemplar
Thomas Middleton (2013) — Inledning, vissa utgåvor20 exemplar
Masters of British Literature, Volume B (2007) — Bidragsgivare — 17 exemplar
Christmas classics: A treasury for Latter-Day Saints (1995) — Bidragsgivare — 14 exemplar
The Religion of Beauty: Selections from the Aesthetes (1950) — Bidragsgivare — 11 exemplar
Men and Women: The Poetry of Love (1970) — Bidragsgivare — 8 exemplar
Selected Ballads (2002) — Bidragsgivare — 5 exemplar
La poesía inglesa románticos y victorianos — Bidragsgivare — 4 exemplar
Poetry & prose : with Swinburne's poem and essays (1978) — Bidragsgivare, vissa utgåvor3 exemplar
The Best Plays of the Old Dramatists: Thomas Middleton (1887) — Inledning — 1 exemplar


1500-talet (293) 1600-talet (289) 1800-talet (390) antologi (861) brittisk (290) brittisk litteratur (356) drama (2,538) elisabetansk (168) engelsk litteratur (714) engelsk/engelska (360) England (205) facklitteratur (181) Frankrike (390) fransk (367) fransk litteratur (518) historia (207) historisk skönlitteratur (342) inbunden (269) klassiker (1,343) klassiker (1,682) klassisk litteratur (265) komedi (210) litteratur (2,116) läst (219) oläst (254) Paris (252) poesi (3,750) referenslitteratur (238) renässans (208) roman (325) samling (267) Shakespeare (2,760) ska läsas (1,535) skönlitteratur (3,276) sonetter (160) teater (847) teaterpjäs (463) teaterpjäser (1,849) tragedi (219) äger (232)

Allmänna fakta



Swinburne does Shelley and Blake. The world needs more ranting poetry.

"The wrongdoing is not ours, but ours the wrong,
Who hear too loud on earth and see too long
The grief that dies not with the groan that dies,
Till the strong bitterness of pity cries
Within us, that our anger should be strong."
judeprufrock | Jul 4, 2023 |
As the lost white feverish limbs
Of the Lesbian Sappho, adrift
In foam where the sea-weed swims,
Swam loose for the seas to lift...

This is typical: it has Sappho, it has death, it has the sea. He was as much fixated on Sappho because she threw herself into the sea, as because in her he has a spokeswoman for himself and his explorations. Sappho's perfect for him, it's not just that he's a perv.

Swinburne writes endlessly about the sea. I tried his novels and remember a few pages on a drowning man, than which, I thought at the time, I never expect to find a more lifelike experience written down. But the sea's everywhere, and I bet he set himself the task to be like the sea: similar, yes, to itself, yesterday, but infinitely different, and who's bored by the sea? I don't know better sea descriptions.

Poems & Ballads was his first splash and highly notorious. He's more attached to French Decadents than the English Pre-Raphaelites – he was Baudelaire's champion in England. In brief he explores cruelty; first the cruel instincts in love, then outward to the cruelty of the world. His pagans attack Christianity as too optimistic a religion, and in that untrue – as well as being life-negative and anti-sensual.

'Faustine' is about a decadent Roman, a female Faust, a queen given over to evil and evil lusts, but magnificent. One of his gaudy poems, that can be quite funny:

You seem a thing that hinges hold,
A love-machine
With clockwork joints of supple gold –
No more, Faustine.

Is that steampunk?
More gaudy is 'Dolores', a tribute to “Our Lady of Pain”...

What tortures undreamt of, unheard of,
Unwritten, unknown?

Not any more. And published in Victorian England.
But onto more serious poetry. 'Hymn to Proserpine' has a note 'After the proclamation in Rome of the Christian faith'. It's a pagan's lament for things past and lost, and uses the sea again, with ocean-rhythms:

Will ye bridle the deep sea with reins, will ye chasten the high sea with rods?
Will ye take her to chain her with chains, who is older than all ye Gods?
All ye as a wind shall go by, as a fire ye shall pass and be past;
Ye are Gods, and behold, ye shall die, and the waves be upon you at last.

I've spent most time with 'Anactoria', which is Sappho in first person to her absconded lover. She too moves from cruelty towards Anactoria, in her abandonment, to a metaphysical statement. I think 'Anactoria' is a great poem. And once you get past the lesbian sadism, it culminates in Sappho's triumph as a poet. That may be an old claim – I shall not die. I'm a poet – but where is the claim made better?

Sappho is not the weary sort, weary of life and sensation like Faustine; she's healthy, she has far too much self for that. Yes, she swings between moods, and has her exhausted death-moods:

I would the sea had hidden us, the fire
(Wilt thou fear that, and fear not my desire?)
Severed the bones that bleach, the flesh that cleaves,
And let our sifted ashes drop like leaves.

But she's a presence, a personality, as the other women in this book aren't. She has a voice. Though at her lover's feet in one sentence, in the next she is above her, above her love. In her throes she can say, Last year when I loved Atthis, and this year/ When I love thee. You can see why Anactoria ran away. She has Aphrodite under thumb: Mine is she, very mine. Aphrodite offers her redress:

...and she bowed,
With all her subtle face laughing aloud,
Bowed down upon me, saying, 'Who doth thee wrong,

She's nothing if not possessive:

That I could drink thy veins as wine, and eat
Thy breasts like honey! that from face to feet
Thy body were abolished and consumed
And in my flesh thy very flesh entombed!

Her own cruelty morphs into that of God (singular):

For who shall change with prayers or thanksgivings,
The mystery of the cruelty of things?

And she goes on with a vision of the universe's cruelty. With a God behind it:

Is not his incense bitterness, his meat
Murder? his hidden face and iron feet
Hath not man known, and felt them on their way
Threaten and trample all things and every day?

On behalf of the suffering she declares,

Him would I reach, him smite, him desecrate;
Pierce the cold lips of God with human breath
And mix his immortality with death.

The last third shifts to her victory over Anactoria, and over death, and over God in fact.

Yea, thou shalt be forgotten like spilt wine,
Except these kisses of my lips on thine
Brand them with immortality; but me –
Men shall not see bright fire nor hear the sea...

and so on and so on, without they think of Sappho, or know her, for I Sappho shall be one with all these things. This is her conquest of God:

But, having made me, me he shall not slay...
Of me the high God hath not all his will.
… (mer)
Jakujin | Mar 10, 2013 |
These characters are articulate, clever, but very cold indeed.
markbstephenson | Jun 5, 2010 |
The collected works of a significant, if often (I think) underrated, Victorian poet. Definitely worth reading by lovers of poetry and good English.
Fledgist | Jan 13, 2008 |


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