Odes II: Conversations and Effusions
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The first of Thelwall’s five essays On Lyrical Poetry is titled “On the Odes of Horace.” It focuses less on Horace, however, than on translation; and while its admiration for the graceful vigor, racy playfulness, and poignancy of Horace’s language reveals much about Thelwall’s style, it does not reflect the importance of this form of the ode to either his oeuvre or the age. For the Horatian ode—more casual and conversational than the heightened and declamatory Pindaric—is the model for what is now known as the “greater romantic lyric” or “conversation poem,” and most of Thewall’s Horatian odes were written in conversation with Coleridge and Wordsworth, thereby contributing crucially to the development of this characteristically Romantic form.
KeywordsFriendship Form Lyrical Poetry Companion Piece Curious Observation Romantic Form
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