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The Life Significance of French Baroque Poetry

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Marlies Kronegger

With baroque poets, the vocation of literature seems to be the exaltation of the elemental significance of life and of the human spirit. The tetrad pattern of the four elements - water, fire, air, and earth - provides their views of the cosmos as a whole, imprinting the elements' struggle with one another upon every level of creation. The four elements are the matrix of their relations to both themselves and a primordial Being. Their universe is in essence a universe of tension and uneasiness, for it is a universe of creation, revolt, and exaltation. Man does not simply submit to the forces of nature but is able by spiritual energy to regulate and control them.
Contents: Christian poets in search of world harmony - The conflict of the four elements (water, air, fire, earth) and the Human Condition - Elemental passions - The vocation of literature - Creative imagination.