graveyard school

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graveyard school,

18th-century school of English poets who wrote primarily about human mortality. Often set in a graveyard, their poems mused on the vicissitudes of life, the solitude of death and the grave, and the anguish of bereavement. Their air of pensive gloom presaged the melancholy of the romantic movement. The most famous graveyard poems were Robert Blair's The Grave (1743), Edward Young's nine-volume The Complaint, or Night Thoughts on Life, Death, and Immortality (1742–45), and Thomas Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" (1750).
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References in periodicals archive ?
The birth of nationalist pride (as in the case of Walter Scott), the contemplation of mortality (as in the case of "graveyard poets", such as Robert Blair), the fascination with folk supernaturalism, primitivism, and paganism, and the inquiry into the nature of love and reality are some of the captivating issues explored, which will undoubtedly resonate with readers today.
Felicity Rosslyn elaborates this, and suggests that the abandonment of Horace as a model of non-dogmatic moralism paved the way for the sentiment and sententiousness of Gray and the graveyard poets - a suggestion which deserves amplification.
It nonetheless reflects the general tendency of the graveyard poets to exploit sensibility and pathos.