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Seventeenth Century
Anglo-American Poetry
Renaissance
John Done


The Flea
The Sunne Rising
Reading Poetry
How do we read and thereby understand
poetry?
What’s the point?
Forms
Elegy: 17C, refers to a reflective poem that laments the
“loss of something or someone (or loss or death more
generally, although in Elizabethan times it was also used
to refer to certain love poems” (Murfin 102).
Epic: “A long and formal narrative poemwritten in an
elevated style that recounts the adventures of a hero of
almost mythic proportions, who often embodies the traits
of a nation or people” (105).
Ballad: “A poem that recounts a story—generally some
dramatic episode—and that has been composed to be
sung. . . . Use simple language” (27).
Verse satire: The critique of social or political subjects in
verse form. Satire comes in to general forms—direct and
indirect.
Versification
Rhyme and Meter
Rhyme royal: Introduced by Geoffrey
Chaucer. A seven line stanzaic form
written in iambic pentameter with the
rhyme sheme ababbcc.
Ballad Stanza: four line stanza with an
abcb rhyme. First and third lines have four
accented syllables while the second and
fourth lines have three.
Purpose
“Whether public or private, poetry helped
reveal the preordained order presumed to
govern human lives—a goal especially
important to settlers facing the illegibility of
a strange new world” (532).
Edward Taylor
Meditative Poetry: the end of which is “not
to . . .celebrate the person being elegized
but yet another demonstration of God’s
being glorified in man’s dependence”
(Pearce 42).
A sheaf of Poems
What commonalities do you perceive in
these poems?
Edward Taylor