Richard Crashaw

Robert Ellrodt

in Seven Metaphysical Poets

Published in print May 2000 | ISBN: 9780198117384
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670923 | DOI:
Richard Crashaw

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Everything is or tends to be solid in John Donne's, George Herbert's, or even Andrew Marvell's worlds of imagination; nothing is in Richard Crashaw's world, where everything is either liquid or hovering on the brink of dissolution or metamorphosis. Water and air, light and fire are its elements. But the fluids privileged by his sensibility are organic: milk and blood. The miracle of water turning to wine was three times celebrated by Crashaw. There is no sense of space in Crashaw's imagination of movement. A fluid, flowing, or gliding motion is, of course, different from a dynamic, brusque, or instantaneous impulse. But an even more important difference is the absence of a definite orientation in a physical or geometric space. Living in a present world of love and adoration, Crashaw was not inspired by the theme of the end of time, of Doomsday, so prominent in the poems of Donne, Herbert, and Henry Vaughan. We have no sense of duration in Crashaw's universe.

Keywords: Richard Crashaw; time; space; world; fluid; universe; milk; blood

Chapter.  3732 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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