Edward Taylor

Edward Taylor

Edward Taylor

Edward Taylor

Excerpt

Thy crumb of dust breathes two words from its breast,
That thou wilt guide its pen to write aright
To prove thou art, and that thou art the best,
And shew thy properties to shine most bright.

EDWARD TAYLOR'S poetry, his prose, indeed, his entire life were informed by one central purpose, hammered on one anvil, aimed at one end--a blissful eternity in the heavenly city, basking in the radiant vision of Christ, singing His praises and glory. The frontier community near the Connecticut River, pleasant though it must have been at times, was a far cry from the City whose visions dazzled the poet. Yet Taylor saw no impossibility living in the "Suburbs of Glory" even there. His attempt to achieve the glorious life of spirit while still in time accounts for his poetry which is, however, only a part of that attempt. Anticipating the life to come, Taylorcould echo Donne's

Since I am comming to that Holy roome,
Where, with thy Quire of Saints for evermore,
I shall be made thy Musique; As I come
I tune the Instrument here at the dore,
And what I must doe then, thinke here before.

This was Taylor's regular tune, the petition he made constantly: that he, like a musical instrument be attuned to the heavenly harmony; that his spirit, like the string of a lute or a harp, be screwed to the highest pitch, be stretched till it quavered with the angelic choirs. The tension of the image of a soul yoked to a carnal body, yet yearning to fly free of all carnality emblemizes the vital energy behind Taylor's poetry. Unlike Donne, he does not tune his own instrument; he prays Christ to stretch it to heaven.

He might, of course, have relieved the tension by mini-

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