| Hemans and Landon have been the most recently discussed women poets of the annuals because they furnish rich material and a contrast of domestic ideology for the former, and the exploration of feminine eroticism for the latter. A survey of six current anthologies of nineteenth-century poems (See note below) revealed inclusion of the works of Felicia Hemans, Letitia Landon, and Caroline Norton in every one. Mary Howitt, Maria Abdy, Maria Jane Jewsbury, and Mary Ann Browne (Gray) appear in half of these modern collections. Although there are single appearances of poems of Lady Blessington, Sarah Ellis, Caroline Bowles, and Mary Russell Mitford, most of their contemporaries have not yet been recognized. Research is ongoing. Armstrong and Bristow have recently defined a language of the heart they term the “poetry of affections” that is further defined as two principal poetic genres. The first genre is about monumental legend, any known legend, where the issue is the agency of the young woman. The second is an oceanic monody, a loose lyrical form of ceaseless flow, representing inner psychological change and pressure that is anticipatory and more fearful than hopeful about the future (Armstrong “Nineteenth” xxxix).
Love poems should now be apprehended to encompass both sexual and religious experience as a continuum. Jane Tompkins maintains that when critics dismiss the sentimental because it is out of touch with reality or distorted by a religious perspective, the reality of the critic’s own perspective might be questioned (Tompkins 160)
Note:These anthologies are listed in the bibliography under the editors: Armstrong and Bristow; Ashfield; Breen; Collins and Rundle; Feldman; and Leighton and Reynolds.