The Triumph of Augustan Poetics

A study of the transition from Renaissance to Enlightenment poetics, beginning with the period just after the English Civil War.  With the decline of analogical thinking and the removal of the typical religious styles of the late Medieval and Baroque came the idea of the literal–the novelistic.  Satire began to fill the space left by a de-symbolized nature. In Butler, Swift, and Pope we see a rupture of tradition in which the elevated and spiritual discourse of the seventeenth century is replaced by an acidic and destructive satire.  At the same time the poetics of the empirical appear on a large scale in Thomson’s Seasons.  This new naturalism is analagous to the quotidian discourse of the novel.  Finally, with Samuel Johnson we see the intersection of Humanist and Protestant attitudes about the nature of the poetic project of the eighteenth century.  


The Cambridge Companion to Robert Frost

Chapter 8.  “Frost and the Meditative Lyric”:  This essay describes one of the three typical modes of Frost’s poems–the meditative lyric.  This mode usually describes a symbolic natural scene which flirts with (but does not maintain) the canons of romanticism.  In this reading of “Directive” Parker shows how Frost turns the conventions o