Edited By Zachary Guiliano and Cameron Partridge
7. “Lord, how can man preach thy eternall word?”: Preaching and the Metaphysical Lyric
| 151 →
7. “Lord, how can man preach thy eternall word?” Preaching and the Metaphysical Lyric
IN 1668, David Lloyd published a biographical sketch of the poet and priest Richard Crashaw (c.1613–1649) in his Memoires of the lives, actions, sufferings and deaths of those noble, reverend, and excellent personages that suffered by death, sequestration, decimation, or otherwise, for the protestant religion. Lloyd’s sketch is based extensively on the brief biography attributed to Crashaw’s friend Joseph Beaumont; but he not only echoes Beaumont, he amplifies him also, adding to Crashaw’s list of skills and abilities. Beaumont had noted, for instance, the poet’s linguistic skills—his “excellen[ce] in five Languages (besides his Mother tongue),” his knowledge of “the richest treasures of the best Greeke and Latine Poets,” and of course his literary skills as a poet. Lloyd translates these skills into the pulpit: having noted that the poet came from good preaching stock,1 his biographer goes on to describe how,
Philosophy came as plausibly from him as his Speeches or Sermons; those thronged Sermons on each Sunday and Holiday, that ravished more like Poems...scattering not so much Sentences [as] Extasies, his soul brea[t]hing in each word.
Furthermore, this skill in the pulpit has implications for his poetical practice: far from being a mere versifier, Crashaw “taught Poems to do what they did of old, propagate Religion, and not so much Charm as inspire the Soul.”2...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.