[Milton-L] Poems of Mourning

Alan Rudrum rudrum at sfu.ca
Sat Jan 31 08:18:38 EST 2004

There is an extensive literature on poems of mourning.    I found these 
books useful when preparing an essay on "Henry Vaughan's Poems of 
Mourning," to be published in Of Paradise and Light: Essays on Henry 
Vaughan and John Milton" (eds Donald Dickson and Holly Faith Nelson), later 
this year.  Peter Sacks's book is splendid, I think.

  Abbie Findlay Potts, The Elegiac Mode: Poetic Form in Wordsworth and 
Other Elegists (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1967); Phillipe Aries, 
Western Attitudes Toward Death, trans. Patricia M. Ranum (Baltimore and 
London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1974); Eric Smith, By Mourning 
Tongues (Ipswich: Boydell Press, 1977; Phillipe Aries, The Hour of Our 
Death, trans. Helen Weaver (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1981); G.W. Pigman 
III, Grief and English Renaissance Elegy (Cambridge, Cambridge University 
Press, 1985);  Peter M. Sacks, The English Elegy. Studies in the Genre from 
Spenser to Yeats (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 
1985); Arnold Stein, The House of Death: Messages from the English 
Renaissance (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press), 1986.


There may be other reasons than the kind of "distancing" Boyd Berry has in 
mind for not naming close relatives - this is a matter I discuss in 
relation to the poems of mourning in Vaughan's first Silex Scintillans 
volume, 1650, contrasting them with poems of mourning written earlier.

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