Chapter

The Sensitive-Plant: Evaluation and the Self-Conscious Poem: Shelley (2)

Michael O'Neill

in Romanticism and the Self-Conscious Poem

Published in print July 1997 | ISBN: 9780198122852
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191671579 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198122852.003.0006
The Sensitive-Plant: Evaluation and the Self-Conscious Poem: Shelley (2)

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This chapter focuses on The Sensitive-Plant. It examines the linked issues of evaluation and literary value, issues raised by thinking about the self-conscious poem. Such a poem, in Shelley's hands, reflects on its own activity in creating meaning and intimating significance, and it provokes the reader to reflect on his or her activity as actualizer of meaning and significance. A poem that deals in fictions, The Sensitive-Plant challenges itself and its reader to decide whether there is scope for belief in the ‘modest creed’ which the poem finishes by formulating. It is argued that the value of The Sensitive-Plant resides in the way that it self-consciously alerts us to poetry's role as creator and assigner of value.

Keywords: Shelley; reader; self-consciousness

Chapter.  9183 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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