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modernElegy Written in a Country Churchyard is a poem by Thomas Graycompleted in and first published in It was sent to his friend Horace Walpolewho popularised the poem among London literary circles.

Gray was eventually forced to publish the work on 15 Februaryto pre-empt a magazine publisher from printing an unlicensed copy of the poem. The poem is an elegy in name but not in form ; it employs a style similar to that of contemporary odes, but it embodies a meditation on deathand remembrance after death.

The poem argues that the remembrance can be good and bad, and the narrator finds comfort in pondering the lives of the obscure rustics buried in the churchyard. The two versions of the poem, Stanzas and ElegyHow To Write Elegy death differently; the first contains a stoic response to death, but the final version contains an epitaph which serves to repress the narrator's fear of dying.

With its discussion of, and focus on, the obscure and the known, the poem has possible political ramifications, but it does not make any definite claims on politics to be more universal in its approach to life and death.

Claimed as "probably still today the best-known and best-loved poem in English", [2] the Elegy quickly became popular. It was printed many times and in a this web page of formats, translated into many languages, and praised by critics even after Gray's other poetry had fallen out of favour. Later critics tended to comment on its language and universal aspects, but some felt the ending was unconvincing—failing to resolve the questions the poem raised—or that the poem did not do enough to present a political statement that would serve to help the obscure rustic poor who form its central image.

Gray's life was surrounded by loss and death, and many people that he knew died painfully and alone. Inseveral events occurred that caused Gray stress.

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On 7 November, Mary Antrobus, Gray's aunt, died; her death devastated his family. The loss was compounded a few days later by news that his friend since childhood [3] Horace Walpole had been almost killed by two highwaymen.

As a side effect, the events caused Gray to spend much of his time contemplating his own mortality. As he began to contemplate various aspects of mortality, he combined his desire to determine a view of order and progress present in the Classical world with aspects of his own life.

With spring nearing, Gray questioned if his own life would enter into a sort of rebirth cycle or, should he die, if there would be anyone to remember him. Gray's meditations source spring turned to how individuals' reputations would survive. Eventually, Gray remembered some lines of poetry that he composed in following the death of West, a poet he knew. Using that previous material, he began to compose a poem that would serve as an answer to the various questions he was pondering.

Immediately, he included the poem in a letter he sent How To Write Elegy Walpole, that said: As I live in a place where even the ordinary tattle of the town arrives not till it is stale, and which produces no events of its own, you will not desire any excuse from me for writing so seldom, especially as of all people living I know you are the least a friend to letters spun out of one's own brains, with all the toil and constraint that accompanies sentimental productions.

I have been here at Stoke a few days where I shall continue good part of the summer ; and having put an end to a thing, whose beginnings you have seen long ago. I immediately send it you. You will, I hope, look upon it in light of a thing with an end to it ; click here merit that most of my writing have wanted, and are like to want, but which this epistle I am determined shall not want.

The letter reveals that Gray felt that the poem was unimportant, and that he did not expect it to become as popular or influential as it did. Gray dismisses its positives as How To Write Elegy being that he was able to complete the poem, which was probably influenced by his experience of the churchyard at Stoke Poges, where he attended the Sunday service and was able to visit the grave of Antrobus.

The version that was later published and reprinted was a stanza version with the "Epitaph" conclusion. Before the final version was published, it was circulated in London society by Walpole, who ensured that it would be a popular topic of discussion throughout By FebruaryGray received word that William Owen, the publisher of the Magazine of Magazineswould print the poem on 16 February; the copyright laws of the time did not require Gray's approval for publication. With Walpole's help, he was able to convince Robert Dodsley to print the poem on 15 February as a quarto pamphlet.

Walpole added a preface to the poem reading: It is the Approbation which makes it unnecessary for me to make any Apology but to the Author: As he cannot but feel some Satisfaction in having pleas'd so many Readers already, I flatter myself he will forgive my communicating that Pleasure to many more. The pamphlet contained woodblock illustrations and was printed without attribution to Gray, at his request. Immediately after, Owen's magazine with Gray's poem was printed but contained multiple errors and other problems.

In a source February letter to Walpole, Gray thanked him for intervening and helping to get a quality version of the poem published before Owen. The poem most likely originated in the poetry that Gray composed in William Masonin Memoirsdiscussed his friend Gray and the origins of Elegy: Though I am aware that as it stands at present, the conclusion is of a later date; how that was originally I shall show in my notes on the poem.

The manuscript copy contained many ideas which were reworked and revised as he attempted to work out the ideas that would later form the Elegy. A later copy was entered into Gray's commonplace book and a third version, included in an 18 December letter, was sent to Thomas Wharton. The draft sent to Walpole was subsequently lost.

How To Write Elegy are two possible ways the poem was composed. The first, Mason's concept, argues that the Eton copy was the original for the Elegy poem and was complete in itself. Later critics claimed that the original was more complete than the later version; [18] Roger Lonsdale argued that the How To Write Elegy version had a balance that set up the debate, and was clearer than the later version.

Lonsdale also argued that the early poem fits classical models, including Virgil 's Georgics and Horace 's Epodes. Mason argued that the poem was in response to West's death, but there is little to indicate that Mason would have such information.

"Lycidas" (/ ˈ l ɪ s ɪ d ə s /) is a poem by John Milton, written in as a pastoral elegy. It first appeared in a collection of elegies, entitled Justa. Definition of Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard – Our online dictionary has Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard information from Poetry for Students dictionary. J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy is mistitled: it should be called Marine Corps Hymn. An elegy celebrates the dead. But this book has nothing good to say about the. A look at the life of Shakespeare's friend and fellow actor, Richard Burbage.

Instead, Walpole wrote to Mason to say: At least I am sure that I had the twelve or more first lines from himself above three years after that period, and it was long before he finished it. The two did not resolve their disagreement, but Walpole did concede the matter, possibly to keep the letters between them polite.

But Gray's outline of the events provides the second possible way the poem was composed: The letters show the likelihood of Walpole's date for the composition, as a 12 June letter click Gray to Walpole stated that Walpole was provided lines from the poem years before and the two were not on speaking terms until after The only other letter to discuss the poem was one visit web page to Wharton on 11 Septemberwhich alludes to the poem being worked on.

The poem is not a conventional part of the Classical genre of Theocritan elegy, because it does not mourn an individual. The use of How To Write Elegy is related to the poem relying on the concept of lacrimae rerumor disquiet regarding the human condition. The poem lacks many standard features of the elegy: The theme does not emphasise loss as do other elegies, and its natural setting is not a primary component of its theme. Through the "Epitaph" at the end, it can be included in the tradition as a memorial poem, [23] and it contains thematic elements of the elegiac genre, especially mourning.

Gray's is natural, whereas Milton's is more artificially designed. In evoking the English countryside, the poem belongs to the picturesque tradition found in John Dyer 's Grongar Hilland the long line of topographical imitations it inspired.

However, it diverges from this tradition in focusing How To Write Elegy the death of a poet. Although universal in its statements on life and death, the poem was grounded in Gray's feelings about his own life, and served as an epitaph for himself. As such, it falls within an old poetic tradition of poets contemplating their legacy.

The poem, as an elegy, also serves lament the death of others, including West, though at a remove. This is compounded further by the narrator trying to avoid an emotional response to death, by relying on rhetorical questions and discussing what his surroundings lack. The performance is connected with the several odes that Gray also wrote and those of Joseph Warton and William Collins.

The stanza form, quatrains with an ABAB rhyme schemewas common to English poetry and used throughout the 16th century. Any foreign diction that Gray relied on was merged with English words and phrases to give them an "English" feel. Many of the foreign words Gray adapted were previously used by Shakespeare or Milton, securing an "English" tone, and he emphasised monosyllabic words throughout his elegy to add a rustic English tone.

The poem begins in a churchyard with a narrator who is describing his surroundings in vivid detail. The narrator emphasises both aural and visual sensations as he examines the area in relation to himself: As the poem continues, the narrator begins to focus less on the countryside and more on his immediate surroundings.

How To Write Elegy His descriptions move from sensations to his own thoughts as he begins to emphasise what is not present in the scene; he contrasts an obscure country life with a life that is remembered. This contemplation provokes the narrator's thoughts on the natural process of wastage and unfulfilled potential. The narrator focuses on the inequities that come from death, obscuring individuals, while he begins to resign himself to his own inevitable fate.

How To Write Elegy the poem ends, the narrator begins to deal with death in a direct manner as he discusses how humans desire to be remembered.

As the narrator does so, the click here shifts and the first narrator is replaced by a second who describes the death of the first: The poem concludes with a description of the poet's grave, over which the narrator is meditating, together with a description of the end of the poet's life: An epitaph is included after the conclusion of the poem.

The epitaph reveals that the poet whose grave is the focus of the poem was unknown and obscure.

An Elegy is a poem that is written about a person who has passed away. This can be a person you knew or a person who meant a lot to you. Walt Whitman's O Captain! My. The Thomas Gray Archive is a collaborative digital archive and research project devoted to the life and work of eighteenth-century poet, letter-writer, and. Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard is a poem by Thomas Gray, completed in and first published in The poem’s origins are unknown, but it was partly. Jul 05,  · J.D. Vance's memoir 'Hillbilly Elegy' finally tops USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books list. And Oprah Book Club pick 'Behold the Dreamers' also lands on the. Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. The Oxford Book of English Verse: – Thomas Gray. – Elegy written in a Country Churchyard.

Circumstance kept here poet from becoming something greater, and he was separated from others because he was unable to join in the common affairs of their life: The original conclusion from How To Write Elegy earlier version of the poem confronts the reader with the inevitable prospect of death and advises resignation, which differs from the indirect, third-person description in the final version: The poem connects with many earlier British poems that contemplate death and seek to make it more familiar and tame, [39] including Jonathan Swift 's satirical Verses on the Death of Dr.

His description of the moon, birds and trees dispels the horror found in them and he largely avoids mentioning the word "grave", instead using euphemisms.


There is a difference in tone between the two versions of the elegy; the early one ends with an emphasis on the narrator joining with the obscure common man, while continue reading later version ends with an emphasis on how it is natural for humans to want to be known.

The later ending also explores the narrator's own death, whereas the earlier version serves as a Christian consolation regarding death. All four contain Gray's meditations on mortality that were inspired by West's death. The poem concludes with an epitaph, which reinforces Gray's indirect and reticent manner of writing. The epitaph describes faith How To Write Elegy a "trembling hope" that he cannot know while alive. In describing the narrator's analysis of his surroundings, Gray employed John Locke 's philosophy of the sensationswhich argued that the senses were the origin of ideas.

Information described in the beginning of the poem is reused by the narrator as he contemplates life near the end. The description of death and obscurity adopts Locke's political philosophy as it emphasises the inevitability and finality of death. The end of the poem is connected to Locke's An Essay Concerning Human Understanding in that the beginning of the poem deals with the senses and the ending describes how we are limited in our ability to understand the world.

The poem takes the ideas and transforms them into a discussion of blissful ignorance by adopting Locke's resolution to be content with our limited understanding.

Unlike Locke, the narrator of the poem knows that click at this page is unable to fathom the universe, but still questions the matter. On the difference between the obscure and the renowned in the poem, scholar David Cecil argued, "Death, he perceives, dwarfs human differences.

There is not much to choose between the great and the humble, once they are in the grave. It may be that there never was; it may be that in the obscure graveyard lie those who How To Write Elegy for circumstance would have been as famous How To Write Elegy Milton and Hampden.