After the heavenly tune : English poetry and the aspiration to song


    • Berley, Marc


After the heavenly tune : English poetry and the aspiration to song

Marc Berley

(Medieval and Renaissance literary studies)

Duquesne University Press, c2000

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Includes bibliographical references (p. 401-412) and index



This study is the first of its kind to analyze the large questions about poetic authority and musical aspiration. After the Heavenly Tune will appeal to a broad audience including Renaissance, classical, and romantic literary scholars; philosophers; musicologists; theologians; and general readers interested in English poetry and literature. After the Heavenly Tune offers an expansive answer to a basic question central to the history of poetry and poetics: what do poets mean when they write "I sing?" Beginning with the complex relationship between music and poetry in the West -defined and refined by Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Boethius, and Sidney-Berley then examines the writings of such major poets as Shakespeare, Milton, Yeats and Stevens, all of whom return to the Pythagorean idea of speculative music, or "the trope of song." After the Heavenly Tune offers not only groundbreaking studies of The Merchant of Venice and Milton's theory of prophecy, but also compelling new readings of romanticism, and the resolutions of modernism. Its range of insight, as well as application, is uniquely wide.

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