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The Varieties of Metaphysical Poetry [NOOK Book]

Overview

While a student at Harvard in the early years of this century, T. S. Eliot immersed himself in the verse of Dante, Donne, and the nineteenth-century French poet Jules Laforgue. His study of the relation of thought and feeling in these poets later led Eliot, as a poet and critic in London, to formulate an original theory of the poetry generally termed "metaphysical"—philosophical and intellectual poetry that revels in startlingly unconventional imagery. Eliot came to perceive a gradual "disintegration of the ...
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The Varieties of Metaphysical Poetry

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Overview

While a student at Harvard in the early years of this century, T. S. Eliot immersed himself in the verse of Dante, Donne, and the nineteenth-century French poet Jules Laforgue. His study of the relation of thought and feeling in these poets later led Eliot, as a poet and critic in London, to formulate an original theory of the poetry generally termed "metaphysical"—philosophical and intellectual poetry that revels in startlingly unconventional imagery. Eliot came to perceive a gradual "disintegration of the intellect" following on three "metaphysical moments" of European civilization—the thirteenth, seventeenth, and nineteenth centuries. The theory is at once a provocative prism through which to view Western intellectual and literary history and an exceptional insight into Eliot's own intellectual development.     This annotated edition includes the eight Clark Lectures on metaphysical poetry that Eliot delivered at Trinity College in Cambridge in 1926, and their revision and extension for his three Turnball Lectures at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in 1933. They reveal in great depth the historical currents of poetry and philosophy that shaped Eliot's own metaphysical moment in the twentieth century.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Consisting of 11 lectures Eliot delivered at universities, this collection explores his views on the relation of thought to feeling in verse. Apr.
Stuart Whitwell
Literary fashion may have turned our attention away from Eliot in the latter part of this century, but there can be no doubt that he will continue to tower over most other poets of his generation and in some sense to be the defining poet of his time. Eliot lived in the last age in which poetry really mattered, and this collection of his Clark Lectures delivered in 1926 at Trinity College, Cambridge suggests a reason why: poets like Eliot were deeply immersed in the problems of language and imagery and the role it played in Western intellectual history. Eliot quotes in Italian, French, and Latin and, in setting out his thesis, draws on the work of philosophers and poets that range from Augustine to Dryden, from Dostoevsky to Mallarme, and from Plato to Santayana. His subject is the "metaphysical" poets Dante, Donne, and Laforgue and the synthesis of sensuality and intellect in their language. The eight Clark Lectures and three Turnbull Lectures--none published though famous in their time--are relatively dry but fascinating. Their appearance now suggests how wilted is the modern Western intellect in the grasp of its culture.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780544358379
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 3/11/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 1,325,146
  • File size: 6 MB

Meet the Author

Thomas Stearns Eliot was born in St Louis, Missouri, in 1888. He moved to England in 1914 and published his first book of poems in 1917. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948. Eliot died in 1965.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
List of abbreviations and short forms
Editor's introduction 1
Note on the text and editorial principles 33
The Clark Lectures: On the Metaphysical Poetry of the Seventeenth Century with Special Reference to Donne, Crashaw and Cowley
I Introduction: On the Definition of Metaphysical Poetry 43
II Donne and the Middle Ages 67
III Donne and the Trecento 93
IV The Conceit in Donne 119
V Donne's Longer Poems 139
VI Crashaw 161
VII Cowley and the Transition 185
VIII The Nineteenth Century: Summary and Comparison 207
The Turnbull Lectures: The Varieties of Metaphysical Poetry
I Toward a Definition of Metaphysical Poetry 249
II The Conceit in Donne and Crashaw 265
III Laforgue and Corbiere in our Time 281
Textual Notes 299
Appendix I French translation of Clark Lecture III 309
Appendix II Clark Lecturers 319
Appendix III Turnbull Lecturers 323
Index to the Lectures 327
Index to Editorial Material 335
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