The Georgic Revolution by Anthony Low

By Anthony Low

Low discusses the courtly or aristocratic excellent because the nice enemy of the georgic spirit, and indicates that georgic powerfully invaded English poetry within the years from 1590 to 1700.

Originally released in 1985.

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20). RESISTANCE TO GEORGIC And weighty Cares, can gladly part With house and lands .. Sits in some fair shade, and doth give To his wild thoughts rules how to live. (1-8, 19-20) Vaughan's poem reflects two facts of English social life: the separation of the gentleman from close contact with the land, and the separation of the contemplative "saint" from his orig­ inal monastic foundation—where, according to the ancient Benedictine formula, prayer was to be balanced by work. The result of this separation is a rootless and etiolated rural spir­ ituality, toward which not only the pleasure-seekers and the urban cynics of the day are drawn, but even the most dedicated and ascetic of Englishmen.

Here Adams natural Sons, all made of Earth— Earth's their Religion, their discourse, their mirth. 19 For the most part, however, poets preferred not to spoil their landscapes with such ugly objects; better to ignore the rural laborer entirely, keep him in the background, or transform him from a georgic into an acceptably pastoral figure. One may notice the characteristic psychological impediment in coming to terms with the profession of husbandry even in a manual on choosing a trade. Thomas Powell, who directs his Tom of All Trades (1631) to the hopeful parents of young men looking for work appropriate to their means and abilities, of necessity touches on the commonest profession of all; but he cannot refrain from the customary note of comic scorn: Your sonne whom you intend for a Husbandman, must be a disposition part gentile, and rustike equally mixt together, for if the Gentleman be predominant: his run­ ning Nagge will out run the Constable.

Pastoral, of one sort or another, whether it was concerned with shepherds suffering from the pangs of love or with her­ mits breathing out their prayers in rural shades, was an almost universal preoccupation of writers. Georgic, to the contrary, had become an uncongenial mode, which most writers either ignored entirely or silently converted, in the alembic of imag­ ination and prejudice, back into pastoral. THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY The husbandman is often a prominent and sometimes a sym­ pathetic figure in Medieval poetry.

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