New PDF release: Alexander Pope

By Bonamy Dobrée

A biographical and important research. From a existence so full of incident, Mr. Dobrée has selected these evidence which appear such a lot to endure at the poet's improvement in lifestyles via artwork.

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In his second attempt, on the second page, Hill has his speaker ‘Poising the quiet albatross / To sift the ashes of the sea’, returning to a word which he had used in the notebook’s pages in a gesture towards beginning (‘the poised rivers’). The word in that very early drafting was used to suggest a state of active readiness, but here it is used to give the speaker a greater degree of control over the albatross than would be the case with its two subsequent revisions: to ‘set’, on the second and third pages, and to ‘made’, also on the third page, a verb which refuses to specify a particular action.

Hill often uses a plus sign in place of the word ‘and’, which has been rendered as an ampersand in the transcriptions.  285–318. The Manuscripts and Composition of ‘Genesis’ 31 one to six; and there is finally a fourth page (another recto, again with notes towards university work on its verso), which appears to have functioned as a sort of miscellany, a page for gathering passages of revision (going all the way back to the poem’s first day) and for noting lines towards the poem’s conclusion. As with the pages from the notebook, these four sheets record much that would not make its way into the published poem; but it is generally the case that most of the lines and passages recorded here would in some way be developed into lines and passages which do survive into the published poem, suggesting that Hill at this second stage of the drafting was able to focus his thoughts towards the poem more surely than before, the very exploratory work having been done in the notebook.

Phillips, ‘Art of Poetry LXXX’, 290. Hill crosses through individual words and whole lines throughout the poem’s drafting, sometimes writing words of replacement immediately above the cancelled passages; 30 Piers Pennington (something reinforced by the epithet, ‘pig-headed’, which remains constant through all of the early iterations), and many of the modulations in these four attempts at beginning are modulations between degrees of activity and passivity: ‘waiting’, for instance, makes the rivers far more passive than does ‘poised’, which suggests an active readiness, while the revision (done later, in pencil) which crosses through ‘reaching’ and replaces it with ‘charging’ similarly suggests a fuller and more determined action than had previously been the case.

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