Monday, July 1, 2013

Cowper the damned

Robert Pinsky asks, "Why are William Cowper's poems so witty?"
and answers himself: because Cowper was convinced he was already damned.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge called him "the best modern poet", although he seems rather quaint and forgotten today.

Still, in these days when so many people seem to speak for God, it seems to me that Cowper's admonition in "Abuse of The Gospel" is as cogent as ever:

  Too many, Lord, abuse Thy grace
  In this licentious day,
  And while they boast they see Thy face,
  They turn their own away.

1 comment:

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

By the way, although I love the image, I ought to point out that this is an etching from William Cowper. the anatomist, not William Cowper. the poet.


The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau