chapter
20 Pages

(l) POETRY: DISCRIMINATION IN HISTORY

Critical accounts of Jonson’s non-dramatic poetry have often taken the structure of the Epigrams as a convenient point of entry into the broader body of this work. The nominative strategy there pursued has been the occasion for commentary seeking to explicate the peculiar features of a poetry that abstains, for the most part, from the praise of God or a beloved, refusing elaborate allegory or pithy conceits. Jonson’s distinctiveness seems to lie not simply in his style but also in the particular function his poetry sets for itself – for that reason, attention to matters such as the ‘plain style’ (Trimpi 1962) [132] has required the accompaniment of a criticism attendant to questions of purpose.