|.||It is important to remember that Taylor did not write his poems for publication; rather, he used them as aids to meditation and as preparation for giving communion to his congregation. Also, he drew heavily on typology as a means to express his ideas. Before considering the ideas below, read the page on Puritan Meditation Tradition and on Typology. For more information than is contained on this brief page, see the texts listed in the Selected Bibliography on Edward Taylor.|
|.||Types of Imagery (from Norman Grabo) Six
types of images recur.
1) Images of writing, including remarks on rhetoric, metaphor, and duty. Often, these images open the Meditations, and images of music/musical instruments close them.
2) Images of warfare, especially the "assault of the fort of life" replete with soldiers, scouts, generals, bombardments, etc.
3) Images of metallurgy: mining, trying ore, distilling, minting, all of which suggest purification, testing, trying for purity; removal of impurities; alchemical transformation from one state to another.
4) Images of gardens and vegetation: formal knots, flowers, medicinal herbs (apothecary shop), grain, brewing.
5) Images of feasting and communion: wedding feast as union of man and God. This was the nexus of Taylor's faith; Christ's blood as drippings from roast, wine, etc.
6 ) Images of spinning and weaving ("huswifery") (Karen E. Rowe)
All of these are conventional in devotional literature and emblem books but the details are different.
|.||Taylor's poetic method:
1. Begins with depiction of man's fallen
estate, original sin, his own sins.
Notice that Taylor, like Bradstreet, frequently uses the "Venus and Adonis" form (stanzas consisting of six lines of iambic pentameter rhyming ababcc) that permits questioning in the quatrain and an answer or conclusion in the couplet.
|.||Common tropes used by Taylor
(from Donald Stanford)
1.Synecdoche: A special kind of metonymy in
which the part stands for the whole or the whole for the part. Synecdoche
may involve substituting the part for the whole, species for genus, whole
for part, or genus for species.
5. Ploce: The repetition of words.
6. Polyptoton: The repetition of a single word root in different inflectional forms. tinged/tinctured
7. Metaphysical conceit:
Comments to D. Campbell.