Biblical Echo and Allusion in the Poetry of W.B. Yeats: Poetics and the Art of God

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Bucknell University Press, 1994 - 169 páginas
"This book treats the poetics of biblical allusion in the lyric poetry of William Butler Yeats, and the ways in which the King James Bible became for Yeats a model for poetry as a communal voice shaping a culture." "The introduction analyzes the critical history of what Eleanor Cook has termed the "poetics of allusion," emphasizing the work of the Italian rhetorician Gian Biago Conte and the American critic and poet John Hollander. The major topics considered here are allusions as the intersections of texts, as figures of speech, and as structural signifiers; the centrality of the reader in the study of allusion; the quality of allusions, their placement and varying degrees of clarity; and the centrality of the study of allusion to cultural criticism." "The first chapter is concerned with the development of the Bible as a model for secular poetry from the late eighteenth century to Yeats, surveying Bishop Lowth, Blake, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Shelley, and Matthew Arnold, as well as Yeats's references in his prose works to the Bible as a model for art and the artist, and his desire to restore the Bible as sacred text, yet write his own Bible." "Chapters 2 through 5 take up in detail the poetics of biblical allusion and echo in the poems. Chapter 2 treats the poetry of the nineties: here Yeats usually engages the Bible as an antagonist, subverting it for the sake of a Celtic consciousness, denying its exclusive claim to spiritual truth. But many biblical echoes show Yeats's dependence upon the Bible as a guide to poetic language. Chapter 3 concerns the poetry from In the Seven Worlds to The Wild Swans at Coole. Yeats looks on Scripture with an ironic eye, often replacing it with what he calls "haughtier texts," the parables, prayers, visions, and private revelations that mirror biblical models and make biblical texts into warrants for his own theory of rebirth. Chapter 4 is a close reading of biblical intertextuality in seven poems: "The Second Coming," "Sailing to Byzantium," "Meditations in Time of Civil War," "Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen," "Prayer for My Son," "Dialogue of Self and Soul," and "Vacillation." In these major poems Yeats displays his antitheticality, as Hazard Adams calls it, putting into dramatic tension biblical texts and his own heterodox ideas about birth, death, and resurrection. Chapter 5 examines the poetry after "Vacillation," where Yeats gives biblical texts (often text used before) a new sensual gloss, but also admits the limits of a "high talk" derived from scriptural language." "Chapter 6 places Yeats in the broad context of biblical intertextuality, working backward from modernism to Romanticism. First, the study contrasts Yeats with two of his contemporaries, D. H. Lawrence and T. S. Eliot, for whom the Bible always asserts its religious authority, in the Victorian tradition of Arnold, Clough, Browning, and Tennyson. The study concludes by comparing Yeats to Wordsworth and Shelley. Although Yeats is deeply indebted to them, his attitude is distinct from theirs: even when rejecting the Bible, Wordsworth. and Shelley accept a dogmatic view of it, while Yeats escapes dogmatism."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
 

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Contenido

Begats
18
Crosses Roses and Reeds
35
Haughtier Texts
48
What Has Scripture Said?
64
Malachi StiltJack
93
Other Testaments
106
Afterword
125
Biblical Echoes and Allusions in Yeatss Lyrics
126
Notes
138
Bibliography
149
Index of Works of W B Yeats
155
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