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March 31, 2009


Rosemary Hannah

'an impression of overdone cleverness and overwrought emotions.'
If you had not promptly recanted in the next sentance, I would have needed to tell you to wash your keyboard out...

Jim Gordon

Hi Rosemary. Glad you looked in,thanks for your comment, and well meant warning of which I take heed - mostly. I didn't recant, though, I seriously qualified. Would you not agree that the following lines of Crashaw are a bit overdone and the portrayed emotions a bit overwrought? He compares Mary Magdalene's tear-filled eyes to
"Two walking baths; two weeping motions
Portable and compendious oceans." (The Weeper, stanza 19)
Which said, some of the best spiritual psychology and theology is in the metaphysical poets - Crashaw amongst them.

Rosemary Hannah

I think the problem with that is that it is not quite clever enough. I think Donne, say, would have found a way of actually saying something more - some play on words that took one to a new level of meaning. Baths might have turned into some washing clean image,and we might have swam or drowned or both n the oceans.

But I do really love the metaphysical poets - some more than others of course.

Jim Gordon

Agreed Rosemary. Which is your favourite poet / poem? I too both love and owe the Metaphysical Poets. Especially Herbert, Donne and Vaughan. They demonstrate what can happen if we try to put into words what it means to 'Love the Lord our God with all our mind.....", as well as heart, soul and strength. For them devotion was a surrender of the whole person - will, conscience, affection, mind, body and admittedly flawed personality - to the grace that remakes from the inside in ways that tansform the broken fibres of being.

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