Green Thoughts, Green Shades: Essays by Contemporary Poets on the Early Modern Lyric

By Jonathan F. S. Post | Go to book overview

FIVE
Donne's Sovereignty
CALVIN BEDIENT

I HAVE THE SUNSET over a rocky peak on my writing table. No, it's just a red-and-golden dahlia in a black stone vase. No, it's a sunset, if that's what the imagination says it is. All right, it's both.

Poetry is the genre that will have such things both ways. The metaphysical poets of the seventeenth century took this as their unwritten gospel. They indulged metaphor, if with a classical lucidity. They whistled it down to the seed in their hand. What seed? Metaphysics. The inside. The invisible. Come and eat, imaginary concretenesses, or how will we know if the inner life, which seems so renewable, so tender, so real, so immense, is anything but ghostly seed?

The proof was thus circular: essentially Airy figures (since metaphors are only imaginary resemblances—only language) to do the arithmetic of Airy Innerness. Surprising figures, for the substance of the metaphysicals was often sublime emotion, chiefly the miraculous arithmetic of love (both amorous and devout), in which one plus one equals One.

Classical and, classical but, sublime, John Donne, for instance, may have had all his wits about him—so much so that his wit wore imagination like a dashing great hat (as in the “pose of a Melancholy Lover” in the Lothian portrait of Donne)—yet he wrote like the most fantastical alchemist about a certain Elixir, which he called love, as if the great hat wore him, as a great hat may appear to do.

If one crosses classical lucidity with the sublime, the result, of course,

-109-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Green Thoughts, Green Shades: Essays by Contemporary Poets on the Early Modern Lyric
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Green Thoughts, Green Shades *
  • Introduction - Green Thoughts, Green Shades 3
  • Notes *
  • One - Wyatt and Some Early Features of the Tradition 17
  • Notes *
  • Two - Sidney and the Sestina 41
  • Notes *
  • Three - A Curve from Wyatt to Rochester 59
  • Notes *
  • Bibliography 85
  • Four - Ben Jonson and the Loathèd Word 86
  • Notes *
  • Five - Donne's Sovereignty 109
  • Notes *
  • Six - On the Poetry of George Herbert 136
  • Notes *
  • Seven - The Invention of Personality 160
  • Notes *
  • Eight - Finding Anne Bradstreet 176
  • Notes *
  • Nine - Margaret Cavendish, the Duchess of Newcastle 191
  • Notes *
  • Ten - Marvelry 220
  • Notes *
  • Eleven - Rochester's Poetry 242
  • Note *
  • Bibliography *
  • Twelve - What Was He Up To? 257
  • Notes *
  • Contributors 289
  • Index 293
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 300

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.