• The intaglio element in Prince's verse

      Farmer, Gareth (Liverpool University Press, 2017-01-23)
      There is something peculiar about the syntax of Prince’s verse. Which adjectives come close to describing the curious, entangled emotions elicited when reading the lines from Prince’s most famous poem ‘Soldiers Bathing’: ‘And my mind towards the meaning of it strives // All’s pathos now. The body than was gross […] by pain and labour grows at length / Fragile and luminous’? How would we describe the quiet, reserved restraint of ‘Guns, gallows, barracks, poles and bars; / Seem to have laboured but to fetch us love’ from ‘The Book’? In this paper I propose that Prince’s syntax in the poems of Soldiers Bathing is a product of multiple pressures mirroring those he outlines in his intriguing The Italian Element in Milton’s Verse. It is just such pressures, I suggest, that enable him to carve out and maintain the co-presence of both conceptual and affective contradictions – entangled and uncertain ideas – which are the primary subject of these poems and which give his verse its peculiar quality.