The Poems of William Cowper: Volume III: 1785-1800
Clarendon Press, 1980 - 466 من الصفحات
This volume completes the Oxford English Texts edition of Cowper's poems. It contains the poetry he wrote in the last fifteen years of his life, after the publication of The Task had established him as the leading poet of his day. While working on a translation of Homer (not a part of this edition), Cowper found time to produce a wealth of shorter poems, ranging in style from the humour of `The Dog and the Water-Lily' and `The Retired Cat', to the restrained pathos of `On the Receipt of My Mother's Picture out of Norfolk', and `To Mary' (addressed to his companion, Mrs Unwin); and from the reflective tone of `Yardley Oak' to the vulgar energy of the ballads against slavery. His last masterpiece, `The Cast-Away', an expression of the profound misery which had possessed him for most of his adult life, is followed by a series of brilliant translations such as `The Snail'. This contrast of utter despair with humour and careful workmanship gives poetic form to the endlessly fascinating riddle of Cowper's life and personality. The texts are based on manuscripts as well as early editions of the poetry, and are supplied with textual annotation and commentary. The translations of Latin and Italian poems of Milton, in which the poet William Hayley made alterations with Cowper's approval, are for the first time printed so that the reader can distinguish Hayley's work from Cowper's, and see Cowper's original wording.
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