Power and Elusiveness in Shelley was first published in 1937. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
This is a discussion in measured prose of the strange yet frequent union of various abstract elements in Shelley's poetry. The study contains an interesting analysis of the thesis that Shelley's "love of abstraction is only one form—probably the most obvious and the most significant form—of a larger and more general tendency." The object of this essay, in the author's words, "is to collect and combine the manifestations of this larger tendency."
The two great "abstractions" that Firkins selects as the touchstones in his study he generalizes as "power" and "elusiveness," and he shows how these seemingly antithetical qualities are united in both the structure and the style of all Shelley's chief poems.