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Rhyme and Meaning in Richard Crashaw

Rhyme and Meaning in Richard Crashaw

MARY ELLEN RICKEY
Copyright Date: 1961
Pages: 112
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt130jrjg
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  • Book Info
    Rhyme and Meaning in Richard Crashaw
    Book Description:

    Richard Crashaw's use of rhyme is one of the distinctive aspects of his poetic technique, and in the first systematic analysis of his rhyme craft, Mary Ellen Rickey concludes that he was keenly interested in rhyme as a technical device. She traces Crashaw's development of rhyme repetitions from the simple designs of his early epigrams and secular poems to the elaborate and irregular schemes of his mature verse.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-6435-9
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. PUBLISHER’S FOREWORD
    (pp. vii-viii)

    This isthe first title to be published in the University Studies Program of the University of Kentucky Press. Rush Welter in his recent book,Problems of Scholarly Publication in the Humanities and Social Sciences(American Council of Learned Societies, 1959), has shown that few established outlets exist for the scholarly monographic study which is larger in scope than a journal article but not of the stature of the traditional scholarly book. In answer to this need, the University Studies Program is designed both to encourage members of the University of Kentucky faculty to undertake monographic writing of this kind...

  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. ix-x)
    Mary Ellen Rickey
  4. Table of Contents
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-4)

    RECENTscholarship has been much concerned with the group of poets known as the Metaphysicals, and the result is that we now know a great deal about the sources and management of their imagery, their ideological equipment, and their literary reputations. It is widely acknowledged that most of the members of the group were skilled and careful versifiers; yet this concept is frequently expressed only in passing and as a corollary to their general excellence. There are obvious exceptions to this trend—Legouis’s study of Donne and Palmer’s of Herbert, for example¹—but by and large, commentary on their technique...

  6. 1 CRASHAW’S RHYME VOCABULARY
    (pp. 5-24)

    THE INTRICACYof Crashaw’s rhyme patterning bears testimony to the interest which he must have had in rhymes as such. This poet, like many of his immediate predecessors—notably Herbert—placed great emphasis on line endings and the shaping effect which they could be made to give to his verses. Most Crashaw commentators have noticed his rhymes and used them as just another bit of evidence to support their diagnosis of him as a “Baroque” writer. Yet two striking characteristics of these rhymes have apparently gone unobserved: first, the fact that his favorites, the ones which he repeats most frequently,...

  7. 2 CRASHAW’S EARLY USE OF RHYME: EPIGRAMS AND SECULAR POEMS
    (pp. 25-36)

    WHILE THEexistence of Crashaw’s special rhyme vocabulary proves interesting in itself, its real importance lies in its operation in each separate poem. Ideally, a survey of the poet’s rhyme technique should proceed in chronological order; but since the problem of dating his verse remains partially unsolved, the most plausible approach seems to be via types of poems, a system which at least approximates the supposed time grouping of his work. His epigrams, secular poems, and theSospettoappear to have been products of the early and middle thirties and therefore some of his earliest work. Most of these poems...

  8. 3 THE VERSE OF STEPS TO THE TEMPLE AND CARMEN DEO NOSTRO
    (pp. 37-61)

    CRASHAW’Smature religious meditations are almost ideally embodied in a verse characterized by a rich confluence of imagery and musical effect. In form, pieces likeTo the Name above Every Name, In Memory of the Vertuous and Learned Lady Madre de Teresa, andOn a prayer booke sent to Mrs. M. R. are equally unlike Crashaw’s early work and anything else which had appeared in English before them. They are, unfortunately, frequently dismissed as brilliant but somewhat jagged products of Crashaw’s Romanized spirit—outpourings shaped by emotion alone and consequently random and haphazard. Actually, all of these show evidences of...

  9. 4 CRASHAW’S RHYME REVISIONS
    (pp. 62-76)

    IN THE PRECEDINGchapters I have contended not only that in all of Crashaw’s verse the rhymes serve as musical ornaments and bearers of connotations dear to the poet, but that their placement and repetition reinforce the structures of the poems and were planned to do so. It is manifest that Crashaw’s skill and general technique in the handling of rhymes developed considerably during the twenty-odd years of his writing; but discrimination in the use of recurring rhymes is evident even in his earliest work. Since this is true, what attention, if any, did he give to the rearrangement of...

  10. 5 SOME BACKGROUNDS OF CRASHAW’S TECHNIQUE
    (pp. 77-91)

    ANY ATTEMPTat filling in a poet’s literary background must be sketchy and superficial at best, and, if sufficiently meager, possibly misleading. Yet even a partial notion of the sources of Crashaw’s technique is, I feel, better than none at all and will help the reader to see the poet’s accomplishment from a point of greater vantage and to be better able to evaluate his achievement. The sources of Crashaw’s ideas and imagery have been examined by other students with some thoroughness, but the backgrounds of his conception of structure have not. Here I propose to point out some forerunners...

  11. CONCLUSION
    (pp. 92-94)

    CRASHAW, as a close reading of his verse reveals, was not so bemused by religious fervor that he slighted the craft of poetry. On the contrary, many details of his work indicate his particularly keen concentration on matters of form, structure, and management of sound. His handling of rhymes, both in their selection and arrangement, demonstrates care and skill. Obviously he had enormous interest in rhymes: his adoption of discrete rhyme and nonrhyme vocabularies bears testimony to the value which he placed on end words as uncommonly effective contributors to the meaning of a poem. As he matured poetically, his...

  12. NOTES
    (pp. 95-98)
  13. Index to Crashaw’s Poems Discussed in the Text
    (pp. 99-99)