The Poets' Jesus: Representations at the End of a Millennium

The Poets' Jesus: Representations at the End of a Millennium

by Peggy Rosenthal
     
 

ISBN-10: 019515164X

ISBN-13: 9780195151640

Pub. Date: 12/28/2001

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

Through the millennia, poets have been the medium through which a culture talks of, and to, its gods. Now, in this learned but lively commentary, Peggy Rosenthal shows us the astonishing range of poetic encounters with the figure of Jesus. Beginning with a reappraisal of Jesus as a poetic subject from biblical times through the eighteenth century, Rosenthal encounters…  See more details below

Overview

Through the millennia, poets have been the medium through which a culture talks of, and to, its gods. Now, in this learned but lively commentary, Peggy Rosenthal shows us the astonishing range of poetic encounters with the figure of Jesus. Beginning with a reappraisal of Jesus as a poetic subject from biblical times through the eighteenth century, Rosenthal encounters along the way the work of such canonical writers as Dante, John of the Cross, and Milton, and also makes several fascinating detours, including a look at the work of a group of seventeenth-century Chinese poets.

The real emphasis of this study, though, lies in the poetic engagements with Jesus from the Romantic era onward. With insight and breathtaking scope, Rosenthal surveys the imaging of Jesus as Romantic hero by Blake and Whitman; the denigration of Jesus in the work of such proto-modernist writers as Baudelaire, and Borges' and other post-moderns' figurations of Jesus as anti-hero. Finally, Rosenthal examines Jesus' position today as a source of serious poetic inspiration among many poets worldwide.

From investigations of Rilke to Levertov, Milosz to N. Scott Momaday, Auden to Annie Dillard, the Nicaraguan poet Ruben Dario to the Korean Ku Sang, the Arabic world to the negritude movement of the African diaspora, The Poets' Jesus superbly shows how poets' fascination with the man from Nazareth transcends all barriers. It also demonstrates that, despite the twentieth century's self-definition as a secular and post-Christian epoch, it has produced poetry about Jesus of truly surprising quality and variety. The first study of its kind in over fifty years, this is a remarkable survey aimed at scholar and general poetry reader alike.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195151640
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
12/28/2001
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

1Jesus as Christ and More: The First Eighteen Centuries3
2Jesus as Romantic Hero23
3Sliding into Modernism: Jesus Pale and Shrunken50
4Crisis of the Secularized West: Postmodernism's Jesus as Antihero69
5Crucified Africa: The Politicized Jesus of Africa and Beyond84
6Archetypal Christ: Arabic Poetry and Other Wastelands101
7Jesus Absent112
8Between Absence and Presence: Playing Around with Jesus136
9Jesus Present151
Notes174
Permissions Acknowledgments183
Notes on the Artists184
Index185

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