Appeared in Fall 1993, Vol. XIX, No. 2, 3

By the mid-1830’s, at the beginning of the Victorian era and during his most active years in the Oxford Movement, John Henry Newman had written most of his poetry. Many of these poems are devotional or meditative and are grouped in the Lyra Apostolica, a work marked by a decidedly Tractarian avor similar to John Keble’s better known The Christian Year. They are also informed by the moralistic poetic theory of Newman’s critical essay “Poetry with Reference to Aristotle’s Poetics” (Pick 133), which may account for the preachiness of their general tone and which justifies this unflattering judgment of Newman’s poetic abilities by his great admirer C. F. Harrold: “… in Newman, the moralist was ercely at war with the poet. And the moralist won” (270).

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