Enduring vs Enjoying
klj at sccs.swarthmore.edu
Fri Jan 21 08:17:39 EST 2005
On Fri, 21 Jan 2005 minnow at belfry.org.uk wrote:
> I went to the Oxford Book of Eighteenth Century Verse when I read that, to
> see whether there was anything in it that made me want to say "oh oh oh but
> how can you not like X?" and had a look, and I hadn't realised before but
> you're right!
> I come up with Christopher Smart's Cat Jeoffrey (which isn't in that book,
> they only include "A Song to David", eek wibble) and Samuel Taylor
> Coleridge was just getting started but hadn't apparently done anything much
> good before 1800. There are people who would suggest that Burns ain't all
> bad... And I have a sneaking fondness for William Cowper, for one or two
> lines and for John Gilpin.
> They don't include any Blake! Gibber! Surely some at least of his stuff
> was written in the C18. *Songs of Innocence* at least *must* have been!
> My problem with Swift is that he's good but he's nasty, a lot of the time.
Well, Jeoffrey is obviously the other main exception there - he's simply
one of the best things EVER! I love that poem so much. Even as an
atheist, I find the bit about purring when God tells him he's a good cat
profoundly moving. And Burns isn't bad, either - I'm going to a Burns
Supper next week, in fact, although partly that's just because, yay,
Scotland! It's mainly that I find Pope excrutiatingly dull, and he
strides over the era like a giant, striding, boring poet.
I don't know how Oxford does it, but, in Norton, the Romantic Era gets its
own section. So Coleridge and Blake do not count as eighteenth century,
timing aside ;-). Aren't divisions fun ;-)?
Prometheus: "Grief for awhile is blind and so was mine. / I wish no living
thing to suffer pain."
---Percy Bysshe Shelley, _Prometheus Unbound_
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