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The Background of Herbert's Sonnet «Prayer»


Salomon Hegnauer

Henry Peacham coined the term «Systrophe» for a chain of asyndetically juxtaposed metaphors that amplifies a given subject without a predicative verb. In the discussion of the function of, and the intention behind this unique figure of speech, such poems as Herbert's «Prayer», Vaughan's «The Night», and Crashaw's «On Hope», must figure prominently. The present treatise investigates the metaphysical usage of this exacting trope, that has so far eluded critical attention, contrasting it with other devices in the rhetoric of the un-nameable.
Content: Definition of the figure of speech, «Systrophe». - Interpretation of its rhetorical and poetical function in the context of some major metaphysical poems.