The Continuity of Poetic Language: Studies in English Poetry from the 1540's to the 1940's

By Josephine Miles | Go to book overview

III. MATERIALS AND ATTITUDES IN PROSE

THE PROSE of the era supports the poetry in its substance, even in much of its structure. Local problems and politics were subordinated to universal issues. In the midst of the revolutionary Long Parliament in 1640, Robert Greville, Baron Brooke's Nature of Truth was published, and Donne's and Jonson's prose, Walton's life of Donne, Heywood's Exemplary Lives, and finally Selden's Power of Peers and Parliament. It was an active year. In 1641, the Episcopacy Controversy, in which Milton participated, shared place with Habington's Observations upon Historie, and John Johnson's Academy of Love. The next years grew more political, elevated by Taylor, Fuller, Milton, tempered by James Howell's Instructions for Forraine Travell, Peacham's Art of Living in London, the continuity of Evelyn's diary, Hammond's Practical Catechism, Digby's treatise Of Bodies, Howell's letters, the rich speculations of Sir Thomas Browne, and Stearne's Confirmation and Discovery of Witchcraft, until the decade ended with Milton and Donne again, the Fifty Sermons, the Tenure of Kings and Magistrates. Always, in these titles and books, the spiritual and political, the profane and divine, the lofty and trivial, the warmhearted and cold, the plain and esoteric, keep meeting, as they do in the poems, in The Synagogue, Vox Pacifica, Under-wood, The Mistress, Hesperides, Cooper's Hill, Psychozoia Platonica, Song of Solomon, Shepheards Oracles, Lucasta, Steps to the Temple, Saccharissa, "L'Allegro," "On the Morning of Christ's Nativity." And as in the poems so in the prose, the categories are not so far apart as they sound, for religious belief informs the speculation, metaphysics the love, love the politics, myth the geography, morals the biography, and man, with his enquiring and enjoying eye, the whole.

Henry Peacham, the decade's schoolmaster, includes a little

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The Continuity of Poetic Language: Studies in English Poetry from the 1540's to the 1940's
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • THE PRIMARY LANGUAGE OF POETRY IN THE 1640''s *
  • Title Page *
  • Acknowledgments *
  • Contents *
  • I. the Poetry of the 1540''s and the 1640''s 1
  • II- Twenty Poets of the 1640''s 46
  • Iii. Materials and Attitudes in Prose 103
  • Iv. Critical Attitudes and Descriptive Conclusions 125
  • Bibliography 155
  • THE PRIMARY LANGUAGE OF POETRY IN THE 1740''s AND 1840''s *
  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT *
  • I. Poetry of the 1740''s 161
  • Ii. Grounds of Prose in the 1740''s 223
  • Iii. Poetry of the 1840''s 258
  • Iv. Grounds of Prose in the 1840''s 322
  • V. Classic and Romantic 348
  • Bibliography 373
  • THE PRIMARY LANGUAGE OF POETRY IN THE 1940''s *
  • Title Page *
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT *
  • Contents *
  • I. Poetry of the 1940''s 383
  • Ii. Backgrounds in Prose- Practice and Theory 459
  • Iii. Comparisons and Conclusions 497
  • THE CONTINUITY OF ENGLISH POETIC LANGUAGE 517
  • Bibliography 537
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