In Donne's three epithalamions
, Camille Slights finds "complex and fascinating instances of his characteristic concerns and poetic strategies,' exhibiting "the energy, the arresting speaking voices, the unexpected images, the ingenious, paradoxical arguments, the intellectual agility, and the transformation of literary traditions and conventions" that one expects from Donne, with a "similar capacity to puzzle, delight, and outrage readers" (307).
(6) The speaker of the Amoretti and Epithalamion
expresses profound anxiety about both his own desires and his beloved's responses, and he is especially uncomfortable with the human vulnerability and corruption that erotic desire uniquely manifests.
These instances of restore/restorative (one could perhaps also add the word "turn") probably come from the last decade of the sixteenth century, whereas the same words used in a much more serious way occur only in the four other poems probably written at least a decade later and within a few years of each other: The Lamentations of Jeremy (1608?), A Funeral Elegy (1610?), "Good Friday, 1613," and An Epithalamion
, or Marriage Song on the Lady Elizabeth and Count Palatine being Married on St Valentine's Day (1613).
(61) Donne's lines from "Epithalamion
" intriguingly register the spatial dimensions of--and hence conceptual links between--marriage and interment.
Short Time's Endless Monument: The Symbolism of the Numbers in Edmund Spenser's Epithalamion
. New York: Columbia UP, 1960.
Rosenberg refers helpfully to Hopkins, whose emotional feeling for boys and men--the 'bell-bright bodies huddling out' in 'Epithalamion
', for example--is both transparent and unconscious, while the declared, overt passion is for a very male, strong, and physical Christ, whose 'world-wielding shoulder', in 'Hurrahing in Harvest', is 'very-violet-sweet'.
This chapter examines the ways that Richardson and Fielding adopt lyric genres such as the epithalamion
and the hymn in situations where the formal structures of the adopted models both hold the object being described at a distance, and at the same time manage to draw us closer to the objects represented, given the evident pleasure the writer takes in this process.
And some of the poems are titled by their form or occasion (sonnet, elegy, epithalamion
, fugue, etc).
(Donne, 1955:104 Donne's poem written on this occasion, Epithalamion
, consists of eight sonnets and is heavily invested with bird imagery, for a good reason: according to tradition birds choose their mates on Valentine's Day.
Very highly recommended and intelligent reading, the essays comprising A Sinner Of Memory include: Falling Bodies; The Recovery of Things; Grace; The Secret Lives of Fish; Theft and Loss; Home and Away; Preservation: A Story; Epithalamion
; and The Weight of Spring Wind.
Larsen's excellent edition of Amoretti and Epithalamion
(Larsen 1997) and Ilona Bell's detailed discussion of the sequence as a dialogue of courtship in the final pages of her Elizabethan Women and the Poetry of Courtship (Bell 1998: 152-84) will be seen in the future as having helped to reverse this trend, yet the critical power of the collection as a commentary on ideological constructions, and especially on the construction of the male gaze, remains largely unexplored.