Date 1870-08-13
Publication Academy
Topic WMR review of Keningale Robert Cook
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Subject literature
Keywords poetics
  ↳ aesthetics
  ↳ imagery
  ↳ effectiveness
Standards aesthetic poetry
  ↳ imagery

Annotation details

70 August 13 Academy


review of the poetry of Keningale Robert Cook.


Rossetti, William M. "The Early Years of Alexander Smith, Poet and Essayist." Academy 2 (August 13, 1870): 32. Web. 21 Sept. 2011.


Rossetti reviews the first published volume of poet Keningale Robert Cook with both quantitative and qualitative analysis. The review is fairly brief, and Rossetti confines his scrutiny to comparisons and direct appraisal and evaluation of the poetics in the collection. The harshest criticism is direct ("Blondell de la Nesle is a failure and should not have been included") and specific, while the overall conclusions are typically indirect and often inverse (". . . something better than a commonplace one"). Most of the comparisons are for the purpose of positioning the poetry relative to benchmarks with no extensive attempt by Rossetti, as is often the case in his longer reviews of literary subjects, to expound any aesthetic principles.

Rossetti finds in Cook "something caught from Swinburne," but not so much from Keats or Tennyson, positioning Cook somewhere between a minor poet and the poetic giants in ability and accomplishment.

The major flaw in the poetic work according to Rossetti seems to be the poet's inability to present a dynamic image that the reader can own and live, rather than simply being told "the rest is a development," and here is what you should assume.


Critical; reviewer, analyst, appraiser, comparator, educator


"ambitious of high performance", poetic valuation, relative merit and position among poets; mechanics, effect

Standards of Judgment:

Comparative achievement, mechanical and artistic effect, overall value


Algernon Swinburne, Keats, Tennyson, Hugo, Edgar Allen Poe


evaluative, definitive

Writing technique/tone:

Succinct, relatively brief, to the point, monological, critical