Dover Beach and Other Poems

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Courier Corporation, 1994 - 98 pages
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This superb selection of the poetry of Matthew Arnold (1822–1888) offers rich evidence of the poetic gifts that made him famous in his day, and that continue to rank him among the most loved and admired of Victorian poets. In addition to the title poem, it includes such masterpieces as "The Scholar Gipsy," "Thyrsis," "The Forsaken Merman," "Memorial Verses," and "Rugby Chapel."
Although as a literary critic, Arnold championed the serene poise and impersonal grandeur of the classics, his own poems were often more romantic than classical in nature — intimate, personal, sentimental, even nostalgic. Yet it is these engaging qualities, together with his poems' lyrical inspiration and lofty meditative character, that continue to endear Matthew Arnold to lovers of poetry.

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About the author (1994)

Son of the famous headmaster at Rugby, Matthew Arnold was born in Laleham, England on December 24, 1822. Following his studies at Rugby and Oxford, he established himself in an Oxford professorship of poetry in 1857 and relentlessly pursued the theme of social integration. P As a young man, Arnold attempted to create poems through which contemporary readers could touch worlds of remoteness-the people and places of legend. But by 1855 he had realized that his poetry could never achieve the popularity of the poetry of Alfred Tennyson nor the influence among the great that might have compensated for his smaller audience. Arnold gradually became a trenchant social critic. In his essay Culture and Anarchy (1869), he inveighed against the barbarian aristocracy for its materalism, against the philistine middle class for its vulgarity, and against the populace lower class for its ignorance. He sought wider respect for education and coined the phrase "disinterestedness" to suggest that culture should be disseminated equally among all social classes. His Essays in Criticism (1865) established a broader intellectual scope for the literary critic: Criticism was to be more comprehensive, with social and political considerations equal in importance to scholarship. In his efforts to integrate literature and life, and to bring higher cultural standards to all ranks of society, Arnold had an influence extending well beyond his own time.

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