The country-house poems of Lanyer, Jonson, Carew, and Marvell: emblems of social change in the seventeenth century AND both/and: Elizabeth Bishop's Poetic identity

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Diane Batchelet Gill (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Michelle Dowd

Abstract: Often emphasizing the ancient practice of hospitality, country-house poems originate in medieval ideals. However, the country-house poetic genre possesses a malleability that belies these conservative origins. Poems by Aemilia Lanyer, Ben Jonson, Thomas Carew, and Andrew Marvell adapt to change by accommodating the societal pressures of seventeenth-century England, both public and private. In the hands of these poets, it became evident that country-house poetry could serve personal friendships (Lanyer), aristocratic entitlement (Jonson), and political change (Marvell), as well as record the dissolution of hospitality during the cultural changes of the seventeenth century (Carew). Elizabeth Bishop's accurate eye for detailed observation led to immersion in her natural subjects, but her poetic identity exists both in the observed moment and in creative vision. Her poems are both formal and free in structure, direct and reticent in voice, observational and metaphorical in theme. Her characters exist in "both/and" worlds, not "either/or" worlds. Bishop's dual focus re-figures the pastoral expression of the human and the natural by uniting them on equal terms.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2012
Country-House Poem, Elizabeth Bishop, Modern Pastoral, Pastoral
English poetry $y Early modern, 1500-1700 $x History and criticism
Bishop, Elizabeth, $d 1911-1979. $x Criticism and interpretation
Lanyer, Aemilia $x Criticism and interpretation
Jonson, Ben, $d 1573?-1637 $x Criticism and interpretation
Carew, Thomas, $d 1595?-1639? $x Criticism and interpretation

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