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date: 30 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This essay offers a critical analysis of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poetry to show how she uses patterns of poetic form to theorize political violence. By exploiting her poems’ practices of unity and division, repetition and substitution, Barrett Browning thinks through the patterns shared by politics and poetry and suggests that far from singular and specific, slavery and other forms of injustice travel all too easily around the world. This essay looks at all three of Barrett Browning’s antislavery poems, ‘The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point’ (1848), ‘Hiram Powers’ Greek Slave’ (1850) and ‘A Curse for a Nation’ (1856).

Keywords: poetry, politics, slavery, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, rhythm, rhyme, violence, unity, division, repetition

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