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The Dynamics of Poetics and Forgiveness in Adelaide Procter's ‘Homeless’


  • Cheri Lin Larsen Hoeckley

    Corresponding author
    1. Westmont College, English, Santa Barbara, California, United States
    • Correspondence: Westmont College, English, 955 La Paz Road, Santa Barbara, California 93109, United States. Email:

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Adelaide Procter's “Homeless” can be read as a case study in the dynamics of poetics and forgiveness, taking into account the poem's various Victorian contexts and formal practices. Procter seems to see forgiveness as a dynamic process, shifting for different readers. While Procter writes in a theological framework, using the sentimental Catholic figure of the rosary, she also engages with arguments that some might consider “secular”, such as female employment and sexual double standards. With sentimental and religious poetics, then, Procter enters Victorian discussions as controversial as those of female sexuality and economic practice to challenge accepted Victorian notions of sin, forgiveness, and social equity.