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Shelley's Living Artistry: Letters, Poems, Plays$
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Madeleine Callaghan

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781786940247

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781786940247.001.0001

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‘One is always in love with something or other’

‘One is always in love with something or other’

Epipsychidion and the Jane Poems

(p.201) Chapter Seven ‘One is always in love with something or other’
Shelley's Living Artistry: Letters, Poems, Plays

Madeleine Callaghan

Liverpool University Press

Epipsychidion and Shelley’s poems to Jane Williams show him poeticise his conception of love. These poems construct and deconstruct idealised states in his work with a self-consciousness that never undercuts the emotional intensity of the poetry. Reading Shelley’s letter to John Gisborne of 18 June 1822 reveals Shelley’s critical acumen as well as his attempt to lessen the distance between himself and his friend as he seamlessly moves from idea to idea. The letter retains a clear consciousness of the difficulty, the nigh impossibility, of the ideal in Epipsychidion and the gap between the real and poetic version of Jane Williams in the letter and the poems. Shelley’s multitonal performances echo from his prose to his poetry as he creates and dispels his own poetic fantasies.

Keywords:   Epipsychidion Jane Williams lyric Gisborne Viviani Mary Ixion Plato

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