Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Dr. Ralph M. Wardle
Poetry has been called "the natural speech of man." Of the hundreds of thousands of poems written in the English language, a great many are based upon the variety of religious themes. Religion in the 20th century is usually thought of as being a private affair of each individual person; in the 18th century, too, as in all ages, religious feeling has involved subjective impressions and experiences. However, the 18th century was neither a subjective nor a lyrical century, in its main stream of poetical expression, and it is with just a bit of surprise that we encounter an 18th century poet who is subjective, lyrical, and even impassioned about his religious experiences while he retains at the same time the usual appearances of 18th century Polish and refinement. Such a poet was Isaac Watts, known in the mid-20th century merely as the author of a few hymns which appear in most Protestant hymnals, but respected during his own day and a contrary thereafter for his keen intellectual acumen as the author of a considerable body of prose literature and for the personal subjective qualities of a rather slight body of poetry.
Schroeder, Leroy D., "The self-revelation of Isaac Watts in his poetical writings" (1959). Student Work. 3184.
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