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Browning critiques

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    Available in PDF Format | Browning critiques.pdf | Unknown
    Margret Holmes Ernsperger Bates
Excerpt from book: CHAPTER II PIPPA PASSES So many times we hear it said amongst Browning students, in reply to the charge of obscurity: "But we get from the poet the measure that we bring." That is true too. Coming to Browning with a mind set to the easy measure of Walter Scott, or of Mrs. Browning, we are very soon lost in the maze of complicated sentences, far-fetched comparisons, and a veritable barbed wire barricade of parentheses. Still, it is not really necessary to decide at the first chapter that there are hidden meanings, occult imaginings in all the Browning dramas and poems. If the student, or even the casual reader will apply only the plainest kind of everyday reasoning to the words set down, he will find it much more conducive to an understanding, as well as an intelligent enjoyment of all Browning's works. Indeed, many of his shorter poems are very simple, and, if no one else has ever said it, it is high time that somebody should say, some of his rhymes are execrable. There: my oft-repeated thought has taken form, and it is much more easily read than are some of Browning's. One of the most conspicuous examples of critics darkening counsel by words of mistaken knowledge,is to be found in the drama of Pippa. If some commoner man had written the story in any form it would be readily understood. But, Browning! There must be some very fine-spun reasoning here. Something happening that the girl knows nothing about, but, she is in the lime-light. The wires of the whole day's machinery are in her hand. It has been debated and wondered about in Browning clubs—what did he mean? Did he wish to impress on the minds of his readers the idea that much good is done unconsciously ? That idea is true, but, was Pippa, the bare-foot, scantily clad girl, as she says: "All but naked to the knee...  
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