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Jonathan Swift’s «On Poetry: A Rapsody»

A Critical Edition with a Historical Introduction and Commentary


Melanie Just

On Poetry: A Rapsody is one of Jonathan Swift’s most complex and controversial poems. This study presents, for the first time, a detailed analysis and interpretation of what, on a surface level, has to be called a mock ars poetica, but which, on a deeper level, is a highly allusive political satire. The main emphasis has been placed on providing a commentary which seeks to make this 18 th -century text within its historical, political, and religious context comprehensible to present-day readers.
Contents: Poets Laureate – Reception – Commentary – Ars Poetica – Neoclassicism.