In fresh readings of Keats, Shelley, Coleridge and others, Miller shows how evening settings enabled poets to represent the passage of time. This leads to new ways of reading canonical works, and of thinking about the kinds of themes the lyric can express.
Preface; 1. The pre-history of Romantic time; 2. Coleridge's lyric 'moment'; 3. Wordsworth's evening voluntaries; 4. Shelley's 'woven hymns of night and day'; 5. Keats and the 'Luxury of Twilight'; 6. Later inventions.
"The author illustrates his discussion with detailed references to the work of Virgil, Milton, Finch, Collins, Gray, Cowper, Blake, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, Eliot, and Stevens. This is an extensive list, but Miller's exclusive appeal to poetic considerations of "evening" results in a focused study with even broader implications; he manages to extend and revise the idea of lyric and offer new opportunities for understanding inheritances and exchanges between canonical and less-known poems. Miller carefully contextualizes his discussion and offers a network of refreshing close readings that highlight questions of form, genre, literary tradition, and aesthetic ambition over the political, social, and intellectual concerns of recent new historicist studies. This book is a welcome contribution to the crowded critical landscape of Romantic period studies."
-J. A. Saklofske, Acadia University
"It is an impressive and versatile book, with good things to say about all its poets, and perhaps especially attentive to the multiplicity of voices in Coleridge...It is a celebratory book, and part of its literary pleasure gets into its own style; it enjoys here and there a Stevensish flamboyance."
-Seamus Perry, Balliol College Oxford, The Review of English Studies