Popular Measures: Poetry and Church Order in Seventeenth-Century Massachusetts

Popular Measures: Poetry and Church Order in Seventeenth-Century Massachusetts

Popular Measures: Poetry and Church Order in Seventeenth-Century Massachusetts

Popular Measures: Poetry and Church Order in Seventeenth-Century Massachusetts

Synopsis

"In Popular Measures, Amy Morris examines the influence of church practices on the poetry of seventeenth-century New England. In a community where the Book of Common Prayer was banished from the church, and preference was given to the plain-style sermon (delivered orally and often without notes), what role was there for religious poetry? As a humanly crafted, fixed form, poetry fell short of the ideal of spontaneous, spirit-filled language promoted by Congregationalists. By analyzing the impact of this religious culture on the design of early New England verse, Morris shows how writers adapted English poetic conventions to fit their new colonial context." Throughout her investigation, Dr. Morris explains the relevant political and religious background, especially the controversial "Halfway Covenant," that shaped the popular measures of colonial America.
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