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Classic and Contemporary Poetry: Explained

ON THE MEMORY OF MR. EDWARD KING, DROWNED IN THE IRISH SEAS, by             Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography

 

"On the Memory of Mr. Edward King, Drowned in the Irish Seas" is a poem written by John Cleveland, an English poet and satirist who lived in the 17th century. He was known for his political and social satires, as well as his support for the Royalist cause during the English Civil War. Cleveland was a popular poet in his time, and was considered one of the leading figures in the Cavalier Poets movement.

Context:

The poem was written in the mid-17th century, during a period of political and social upheaval in England. The country was in the midst of a civil war, with tensions between the Royalists and the Parliamentarians. Against this backdrop, Cleveland offers a tribute to Edward King, a young man who drowned in the Irish seas.

Content:

"On the Memory of Mr. Edward King, Drowned in the Irish Seas" is a poem that mourns the death of Edward King. The poem describes King's many virtues, including his intelligence, his kindness, and his love of learning. Cleveland offers a heartfelt tribute to King, acknowledging his contributions to the world of scholarship and to the cause of the Royalists. The poem is structured as a series of elegiac reflections on the life and legacy of King.

Form:

The poem is written in rhymed couplets and is composed of thirteen stanzas, each containing eight lines. The poem's form is simple and elegant, which reflects the solemnity and gravity of the occasion. The use of rhymed couplets also creates a sense of balance and harmony in the poem, emphasizing the reverence and respect with which King is remembered.

Poetic Elements:

Cleveland makes use of a variety of poetic devices in "On the Memory of Mr. Edward King, Drowned in the Irish Seas." One of the most striking is his use of metaphor, in which he compares King to various figures from mythology and history, such as Orpheus and Aristaeus. He also employs a variety of descriptive language, evoking the sights, sounds, and sensations of the natural world. In addition, he uses repetition and parallelism to create a sense of rhythm and emphasis in the poem.

Summary:

Overall, "On the Memory of Mr. Edward King, Drowned in the Irish Seas" is a moving and eloquent tribute to the life and legacy of Edward King. While it was written in a specific historical context, its message is universal and has resonated with readers across the centuries. Cleveland's elegiac reflections on King's many virtues, including his intelligence, his kindness, and his love of learning, create a sense of reverence and respect that transcends the specific historical circumstances of King's life. The poem's use of metaphor, descriptive language, and repetition creates a sense of depth and resonance, inviting the reader to reflect on the importance of scholarship, kindness, and love in the world.

 


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