One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back
into the darkness of the ark -- Kafka

Sunday, February 7, 2016

William Drummond (Hawthornden) [1585 - 1649]

William Drummond (13 December 1585 – 4 December 1649), called "of Hawthornden", was a Scottish poet.

Works

Drummond's most important works are the Cypresse Grove and the poems. The Cypresse Grove exhibits great wealth of illustration, and an extraordinary command of musical English. It is an essay on the folly of the fear of death. "This globe of the earth," says he, "which seemeth huge to us, in respect of the universe, and compared with that wide pavilion of heaven; is less than little, of no sensible quantity, and but as a point." This is one of Drummond's favourite moods; and he uses constantly in his poems such phrases as "the All," "this great All." Even in such of his poems as may be called more distinctively Christian, this philosophic conception is at work.[4]

A noteworthy feature in Drummond's poetry, as in that of his courtier contemporaries Aytoun, Lord Stirling and others, is that it manifests no characteristic Scottish element, but owes its birth and inspiration rather to the English and Italian masters. Drummond was essentially a follower of Spenser, but, amid all his sensuousness, and even in those lines most conspicuously beautiful, there is a dash of melancholy thoughtfulness - a tendency deepened by the death of his first love, Mary Cunningham. Drummond was called "the Scottish Petrarch"; and his sonnets, which are the expression of a genuine passion, stand far above most of the contemporary Petrarcan imitations. A remarkable burlesque poem Polemo Middinia inter Vitarvam et Nebernam (printed anonymously in 1684) has been persistently, and with good reason, ascribed to him. It is a mock-heroic tale, in macaronic Latin enriched with Scottish Gaelic expressions, of a country feud on the Fife lands of his old friends the Cunninghams.


[From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Drummond_of_Hawthornden]


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