Richard Crashaw: A Study in Style and Poetic Development

By Ruth C. Wallerstein | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV
THE TRANSLATIONS

With the study of the translations and of Marinism in Crashaw, we come to Crashaw's English work. We come also from the school-work which was laid upon him, even if gladly accepted, to the work of his choice. In it, the baroque stream is widened by the great influx of Marinism; and at the same time, there rise to meet these foreign sources the clear springs of Spenserianism and of the Elizabethan spirit. Crashaw's most sustained and most important work in this period is the translation of the first canto of Marino La Strage De Gl' Innocenti; and in this and in a few epigrams likewise translated from Marino, the influence of Marino is most specifically felt and can be most clearly traced. These poems, accordingly, we shall study in detail in order to understand the part which Marino played in the development of Crashaw's art. Then secondly, Marinism is apparent in another group of poems expressive of certain religious attitudes and themes which Crashaw to some extent shared with Marino, though none of these poems are translations. Many continental writers besides Marino were busy with the same themes, and a number of these writers were known to Crashaw and aroused his interest. But the presence in this religious work of Crashaw's of a number of specific details drawn from Marino, together with notable analogues in Marino to Crashaw makes clear that among the numerous writers on the Magdalen and on the Crucifixion it was Marino who specialty influenced Crashaw. And, in the third place, even where Crashaw did not actually borrow from Marino, the Marinistic type of theme and Marinistic imagery influenced his art. These three aspects of Marino's influence can best be considered separately, although, in fact, the material of the third aspect, the more general influence of Marinism, is very strongly present in the other two.

Crashaw's study of Marino and Italian poetry probably dates, as we have seen, from his undergraduate years, and the d'HerodeSospetto

-73-

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Richard Crashaw: A Study in Style and Poetic Development
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents 5
  • Preface 7
  • Chapter I Introductory 9
  • Chapter II Crashaw's Life and Inner Growth 16
  • Chapter III School-Work: the Latin Epigram and the Pattern of the Rhetorics 56
  • Chapter IV the Translations 73
  • Chapter V Emblem and Impresa: the Maturing of Crashaw's Imagery 114
  • Chapter VI Style and Spirit Fused 136
  • Bibliography 148
  • Index 159
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